Toyota breaks ground on futuristic city
By Leila Steed23 February 2021
Toyota Motor Corporation has marked the start of construction works on its futuristic Woven City project with a ground breaking ceremony, just one year after the project was first announced.
Designed as a prototype for a fully connected environment, the experimental city is being built next to Toyota’s Higashi-Fuji production site at the foot of Mount Fuji in Japan.
Woven City will become a working community that will “bring new technology to life in a real-world environment across a wide range of areas”, including automated driving, personal mobility, robotics and artificial intelligence.
A joint project between Toyota and Woven Planet Holdings (a Toyota Group company), the ground breaking ceremony welcomed industry guests, project contributors and local residents. The socially-distanced event was hosted by Woven Planet CEO James Kuffner and Toyota President Akio Toyoda, who delivered the commencement speech.
Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota said, “The Woven City project officially starts today. Taking action as one has decided is never an easy task. I must express my deepest gratitude to all who have provided their whole-hearted support and cooperation to the project through today.
“The unwavering themes of the Woven City are ‘human-centred,”a ‘living laboratory’ and ‘ever-evolving.’ Together with the support of our project partners, we will take on the challenge of creating a future where people of diverse backgrounds are able to live happily.”
The prototype city project, which is expected to create opportunities for businesses and researchers globally, will initially have a population of 360 people. Senior citizens and families with young children will be among the first residents to live in Woven City, before its population is increased to around 2,000 people.
The company said the city’s infrastructure has been “designed to create an environment where inventions with the potential to solve social issues can be created in a timely fashion.”