Emerging technologies are disrupting our lives radically and companies are testing new products and ideas all the time. The carmaker, Toyota, kicked off the first week of 2020 with an ambitious announcement. During their presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, CEO Akio Toyoda told audience members that the company would be building a “city of the future,” from which to test advancements in driverless automobile technology and robotic assisted living.
Woven City, as Toyota plans to name it, will be built in the foothills of Mt. Fuji, roughly 60 miles from Japan’s capital city of Tokyo. During his presentation, Akio Toyoda referred to the project as a “living laboratory.” With an estimated population of about 2,000 people, Woven City will be home to Toyota researchers, project partners, retirees, as well as Toyota employees and their families.
“Homes in the Woven City will serve as test sites for new technology, such as in-home robotics to assist with daily life,” said founder of Bjarke Ingels Group, the architecture firm partnering with Toyota. “These smart homes will take advantage of full connectivity using sensor-based AI to do things automatically, like restocking your fridge, or taking out your trash — or even taking care of how healthy you are.”
To make things more interesting, Woven City will be powered entirely without fossil fuels. Only solar panels and hydrogen fuel cells will power the 175 acre site. Ingels drew design inspiration from classical Japanese architecture but plans to update the designs with hidden power storage and water filtration systems. So goodbye to massive above ground generators and power lines! This has all been in favor of encouraging the public to share space freely.
“In an age when technology, social media and online retail is replacing and eliminating our, natural meeting places, the Woven City will explore ways to stimulate human interaction in the urban space,” Ingels said. “After all, human connectivity is the kind of connectivity that triggers wellbeing and happiness, productivity and innovation.”