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Toyota plans to build 175-acre smart city in Japan

James Cook
Toyota plans to build a smart city in Japan - Toyota

Japanese carmaker Toyota has announced plans to create a 175-acre smart city in Japan where it will test driverless cars and artificial intelligence.

The project, announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, will break ground at the base of Mount Fuji in 2021.

Woven City will initially be home to 2,000 people who will test technologies including robots and smart homes.

Toyota said in a press release that only driverless and electric vehicles will be allowed on the main streets of Woven City.

Streets will be split into three types of thoroughfare: Roads for fast vehicles, lanes which are a mixture of personal vehicles and pedestrians, and pedestrian footpaths.

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels has been commissioned to design the new city. His business previously worked on projects including Google’s London and US headquarters.

Buildings in Woven City will mostly be made of wood Credit: Toyota

Toyota said the city will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells and solar panels fitted to the roofs of houses.

Buildings in Woven City will mostly be made of wood and assembled using “robotised production methods,” Toyota said.

Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s president, said: “Building a complete city from the ground up, even on a small scale like this, is a unique opportunity to develop future technologies, including a digital operating system for the infrastructure.

“With people, buildings and vehicles all connected and communicating with each other through data and sensors, we will be able to test connected AI technology, in both the virtual and physical realms, maximising its potential.”

Google has also experimented with the creation of its own smart city through its Sidewalk Labs division.

The company is hoping to transform a 12-acre plot in Toronto’s waterfront district into a smart city, with the first homes due to appear in 2023.