Date
12 January 2020
Toyota president Akio Toyoda announces plans to build a prototype city of the future during the CES event in Las Vegas on Monday. Photo: Reuters
Toyota president Akio Toyoda announces plans to build a prototype city of the future during the CES event in Las Vegas on Monday. Photo: Reuters

Toyota to build prototype city of the future in Japan

Toyota Motor announced plans to build a prototype “city of the future” at the base of Japan’s Mt. Fuji, powered by hydrogen fuel cells and functioning as a laboratory for autonomous cars, “smart homes,” artificial intelligence and other technologies, Reuters reports.

Unveiling the plan at the CES event in Las Vegas on Monday, Toyota said the project, which will come up at the site of a closed factory, will be called “Woven City” – a reference to Toyota’s start as a loom manufacturing company – and will serve as a home to full-time residents and researchers.

The Japanese automaker did not disclose costs for the project.

The proposal highlights not only Toyota president Akio Toyoda’s ambition, but also the financial and political resources the company can bring to bear, especially in its home country, Reuters noted.

Toyota expects 2,000 people will live at the city initially, with construction slated to start next year. Toyoda called the project “my personal ‘field of dreams.’

“You know if you build it, they will come.”

Toyota said it has commissioned Danish architect Bjarke Ingels to design the community.

The company said it is open to partnerships with other companies that want to use the project as a testing ground for technology.

Executives at many major automakers have talked about how cities of the future could be designed to cut climate-changing emissions from vehicles and buildings, reduce congestion and apply internet technology to everyday life.

But Toyota’s plan to build a futuristic community on 175 acres near Mt. Fuji is a big step beyond what rivals have proposed, the report noted.

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