The prototype “city of the future” will be home to 2,000 residents and researchers who will test and develop a range of smart city technologies and demonstrate a human-centered approach to community development.
Work has begun on Japan’s smart city development, located at the base of Mount Fuji, which will ultimately be home to 2,000 residents and researchers who will test and develop a range of technologies.
Announced in 2020, Toyota’s Woven City claims to be a human-centred, living laboratory that will be “ever-evolving” and help better society by accelerating the cycle of technology and development of services.
Woven City is sited on the Higashi-Fuji Plant, which drew its 53-year car-making history to a close in December 2020. It also represents Toyota’s shift from an automobile manufacturer to a mobility company with the project seeking to bring new technology to life in a real-world environment in areas such as automated driving, personal mobility, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI).
Toyota Motor Corporation and Woven Planet Holdings (Woven Planet) recently held a ground-breaking ceremony for the city at the old vehicle yard adjacent to the former Higashi-Fuji Plant site of Toyota Motor East Japan.
“The Woven City project officially starts today,” said Toyota president Akio Toyoda. “Together with the support of our project partners, we will take on the challenge of creating a future where people of diverse backgrounds are able to live happily.”
He added: “We want to weave the history of Higashi-Fuji Plant into the future of this town. We want to be a best-in-town company that people in the local community love and rely upon. This is the aspiration that all of us at Toyota would like to carry on. I would like to conclude my remarks by promising that, always keeping this aspiration in mind, we will continue to take every step forward into the future together with everyone in the community.”
“Together with the support of our project partners, we will take on the challenge of creating a future where people of diverse backgrounds are able to live happily”
Woven City will have three types of streets interwoven with each other on the ground level, one dedicated to automated driving, one to pedestrians, and one to pedestrians with personal mobility vehicles. There will also be one underground road used to transport goods.
The community will start with roughly 360 residents, mainly senior citizens, families with young children, and inventors and will eventually have a population of more than 2,000 individuals including Toyota employees.
The infrastructure of Woven City aims to create an environment where inventions with the potential to solve social issues are created on a timely basis.
Toyota Motor East Japan president, Kazuhiro Miyauchi, added, "The knowledge and expertise we acquired from all of the people who worked at the plant must be carried on into the next chapter. With the conviction that Woven City will stand not on mere empty land but where the history of the Higashi-Fuji Plant lies, I will offer the greatest possible collaboration in the future."
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