The Japanese giants say partnering up makes sense amid shifts in their respective industries.
Automotive company Toyota and telco NTT are forming a joint business to develop a smart city platform for local governments in Japan and beyond.
The companies say their decision to team up is based on advances in their respective sectors and their existing activities in the smart cities space.
In January, Toyota announced a plan to develop a prototype ‘city of the future’. Set on a 175-acre site at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan, Woven City will be home to full-time residents and researchers who will test and develop technologies such as autonomous vehicles, robotics, personal mobility, smart homes and artificial intelligence (AI).
"Woven City will be home to full-time residents and researchers who will test and develop advanced technologies."
NTT is already collaborating with Fukuoka, Sapporo, Yokohama, Chiba and other local governments and companies on smart city projects. It is also working with Las Vegas and Malaysia’s Cyberjaya on traffic monitoring projects.
The companies will now jointly build a smart city data platform, incorporating mobility, housing, business, infrastructure and public services. It will provide data management as well as a digital twin based on the data. As well as serving as a platform for individual cities, the system will also link with other smart city platforms.
The platform will be implemented first in Woven City and an NTT building in the Shinagawa area of Tokyo, before being offered more widely.
Under the agreement, Toyota will take a 2.07 per cent stake in the Japanese telecoms company, while NTT will take a 0.9 per cent stake in the automotive firm.
Akio Toyoda, President, Toyota Motor Corporation, said: “The automobile industry is entering an era in which the very essence of the automobile is undergoing change and in which the goods and services that support people’s lives will be connected by information.
"It is necessary to have in mind the concept of connected cities, in which we need to think about things from a broad, car-inclusive, community-wide and society-wide perspective."
“In other words, even when thinking about our business, it is necessary to have in mind the concept of connected cities, in which we need to think about things from a broad, car-inclusive, community-wide and society-wide perspective, rather than viewing cars as a separate entity. Against such a backdrop, it has come to pass that we have embarked on a new collaboration with NTT.”
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