Toyota plans prototype of ‘city of the future’

Toyota has unveiled plans to a build a prototype ‘city of the future’ at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan. It is envisioned as a ‘living laboratory’ where residents and researchers can test and develop technologies such as robotics and personal mobility in a real-world environment.

Called the Woven City, Toyota’s ‘city of the future’ will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells and is planned to be fully sustainable, featuring mostly wooden buildings covered with rooftop-mounted photovoltaic panels, according to a Toyota press release.

To move residents around, the city will allow only fully autonomous, zero-emission vehicles will on the main thoroughfares, while autonomous Toyota e-Palettes will be used for transportation and deliveries. The city will prohibit faster vehicles on some streets and designate other streets as either lower speed or pedestrian-only.

Residences will be equipped with the latest technologies, such as in-home robotics to assist with daily living, as well as sensor-based AI to check occupants’ health and take care of basic needs.

The design also includes neighorhood parks, a large central park for recreation and a central plaza for social gatherings to help encourage human connection and to bring the community together.

“A swarm of different technologies are beginning to radically change how we inhabit and navigate our cities. Connected, autonomous, emission-free and shared mobility solutions are bound to unleash a world of opportunities for new forms of urban life,” said Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, who has been commissioned to design the city.

“We believe we have a unique opportunity to explore new forms of urbanity with the Woven City that could pave new paths for other cities to explore.”

Woven City will be open to Toyota employees and their families, retired couples, retailers, visiting scientists, and industry partners. It will be home to 2,000 people to start, adding more as the project evolves.

The groundbreaking is planned for early 2021.

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