In Higashi-Fuji, located in the Japanese city of Susono (Shizuoka prefecture), the construction of Woven City is underway. The prototype of the city of the future in which all ecosystems are connected. Toyota announced the construction of Woven City at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, USA, in January. Through technological development and new services, Woven City wants to contribute to the creation of a better society for all.
Woven City on the slopes of Mount Fuji
Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) and Woven Planet Holdings, Inc. (Woven Planet), the Toyota Group company responsible for multiple mobility development projects, then held the ceremony (Jichinsai) for the construction of the revolutionary Woven City. It all took place about a couple of months ago, at the old automotive construction site adjacent to the former Higashi-Fuji site of Toyota Motor East Japan, Inc. (TMEJ).
On the slopes of Mount Fuji will rise Toyota Woven City, the living laboratory city desired by Toyota and designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, as a fully connected ecosystem powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The famous architect has signed some of the most interesting projects of recent years, such as the Two World Trade Center in New York, the Lego House in Denmark and the complex that houses the headquarters of Google in Mountain View, California.
Along with Governor Heita Kawakatsu of Shizuoka Prefecture, Mayor Kenji Takamura of the city of Susono and other guests representing the local community, the ceremony was attended by Toyota President Akio Toyoda Woven Planet CEO James Kuffner, TMEJ President Kazuhiro Miyauchi, as well as others involved in the project.
The Woven City project officially begins. Taking action as one has decided is never an easy task. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who has collaborated and supported the project to date. The cornerstones of Woven City are represented by being human-centered, a living laboratory in continuous evolution. Together with the support of our project partners, we will take on the challenge of creating a future society in which everyone can live happily.Akio Toyoda, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation
Woven City: a small city
This is a small-scale experiment, 70 hectares in size. The new Toyota Woven City will serve as a home for full-time residents and researchers who will be able to test and develop technologies such as autonomy, robotics, personal mobility, smart homes and artificial intelligence in a real-world environment. A real city, inhabited initially by about 360 residents, primarily seniors, families with young children, and inventors. It will later grow with a population of over 2,000 people, including Toyota employees. Woven City’s infrastructure will facilitate the early adoption of inventions that aim to solve social problems.
Woven City was not created to have the best possible solutions but to enable their development. A step ahead of any futuristic neighborhood or urbanization planned so far.
The people who will live in Woven City will be able to work, move around, and enjoy their free time. Just the inhabitants will be crucial to guide this giant unprecedented experiment. Moreover, among them will be Toyota employees and scientists and researchers who will be able to see their innovations applied in an environment created to welcome them.
A unique opportunity
Woven City will be a whole city and will become a unique opportunity to develop future technologies. It will include a digital operating system for the city’s infrastructure, with people, buildings and vehicles all connected and communicating with each other through data and sensors based on connected artificial intelligence. Toyota will also extend an open invitation for collaboration with other commercial and academic partners and invite interested scientists and researchers from around the world to go and work on their projects in this one-of-a-kind, real-world incubator. The need for real-world conditions for experimenting with new technologies is common to every research center on the planet.
No one really has a city to serve as a laboratory. So they seek to apply innovations in new neighborhoods, university campuses, restricted residential areas and protected natural areas.
I am deeply grateful for enabling the operation of our establishment here in Higashi-Fuji for 53 years with the support of the local community. The knowledge and skills we have gained through all the people who have served at this establishment will be the basis for developing this new chapter. I will offer my utmost cooperation in the future, in the belief that Woven City will not be built on a simple piece of land but on a place that has made the history of this plant.Kazuhiro Miyauchi, President of TMEJ
Woven City puts man at the center.
Woven City is a project characterized by an approach that puts people at the center for community development. As part of the process of transforming into a mobility company, this project will use new technologies in a real-world environment in a wide range of applications, such as automated driving, personal mobility, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI). It will offer many opportunities for companies and researchers from around the world.
Woven City will have three types of intertwined roadways, one dedicated to automated driving, pedestrians, and one to pedestrians with personal mobility vehicles. An underground roadway used for freight transportation is also planned.
The complete sustainability of the built-up area and the activities that occur there are obtained with wide use of natural building materials such as wood, manufacturing processes that combine traditional techniques with futuristic robotic methods.
The roofs, for example, are equipped with photovoltaic panels for the production of electricity, and the energy system integrates the use of hydrogen and fuel cells.