Toyota did more than present its vision of the smart city at its CES 2020 conference. The automaker announced on January 6, 2020 that it wants to build its smart city, dubbed Woven City. It will be built on a former industrial site of the industrialist, located at the foot of Mount Fuji, announced Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota.
2,000 inhabitants on 71 hectares
Woven City (the "intertwined city") will serve as a prototype for the city of the future. Designed as "a living laboratory", according to Akio Toyoda, the place will be able to accommodate up to 2,000 inhabitants on 71 hectares (or approximately 2,816 inhabitants per square kilometer). The first residents will be Toyota employees and members of their families, retired people, traders, visiting scientists or industrial partners.
People, vehicles and buildings will all be connected to each other and will be able to communicate with each other. Toyota invites any researcher, scientist, company or other holder of a project to come and test it in their city, certainly miniature but very real. It is possible to try autonomous driving technologies, robotics, mobility or smart home.
Woven City seen from above.
A surface city and an underground network
Toyota has approached the architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group to build this city. Bjarke Ingels, CEO and founder of the firm, explained that the city streets are designed in three parts: the first to accommodate motor vehicles, the second of slow mobility and pedestrians and the third of pedestrians only. The city, of which a digital twin will be developed, is made up of districts, with a central square which will be at the heart of its daily life.
Image of a typical Woven City neighborhood.
The buildings, meanwhile, will be mainly made of wood, and their roofs will be covered with photovoltaic panels. The interiors of homes will be intelligent and equipped with the latest home assistance technologies, such as domestic robots. It is possible to imagine a smart refrigerator which will detect the missing food and order them autonomously, or a robot which will empty the trash cans.
Example of the interior of a Woven City home.
Beyond the surface city, the partners want to build an underground network to transport goods. It will be directly connected to the buildings, specifies Bjarke Ingels. On the surface, only autonomous vehicles will be authorized in the main arteries of the city. For example, the Toyota e-Pallet can transport goods and people, but also contain different businesses. The first inhabitants will be able to join Woven City from… 2021. The first phase will be completed that year, assure the partners, but others will follow.
Image of the central square by day.
Image of the central square at night during a festival.
Example of a walk.