Toyota and the specially formed holding company Woven Planet jointly broke ground Tuesday on the connected city of Woven City (The Woven City) in Japan at the vehicle yard of Toyota’s former Higashi Fuji plant.
Toyota announced that the start of construction was marked by a lavish ceremony. At the CES 2020, Toyota had already presented the project of a city with a completely networked infrastructure as a "city" "living laboratory" presented. Near Mount Fuji, Woven City will be a city where people live together with future technologies and develop them further. For this purpose the buildings and vehicles are completely networked with each other. They should collect data via sensors and exchange it with each other. The focus is on research into smart cities, smart homes, robotics, artificial intelligence and autonomous driving. The techniques are to be tested in real space. The energy for the city project is to be generated in a C02-neutral manner from hydrogen fuel cells.
At the start of construction, Toyota President Akio Toyoda once again described Woven City as a "living laboratory", that "constantly evolving". Together with the project partners, the challenge is to create a future in which, "To create a future where people from different backgrounds can live happily".
Decoupled mobility concept
The design for Woven City comes from the pen of the Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), which among other things developed the Google headquarters in Mountain View. Woven City’s mobility concept envisions three types of traffic routes to decouple traffic and provide for greater safety: a route for pedestrians, a driving area for pedestrians with personal mobility vehicles, and a road reserved for self-driving vehicles.
Good should not be transported on the surface transport level, however. All goods movement is to be underground, similar to the concept of Amazon’s double helix-shaped headquarters in Arlington, U.S.
Initially 360 inhabitants are to be settled. Next to "Inventors" the community base should be mainly elderly people and families with children. Later, Woven City is expected to grow to about 2000 people, including scientists, Toyota employees and their families. The infrastructure aims to create an environment where innovative system solutions are created in time to solve social problems, Toyota says about the project.