To pave a more sustainable path for our planet, we need to push the boundaries to the edge of our fantasy. Everything you imagined under the terms eco, bio and smart is now being developed by smart brains from Toyota. The company decided to build a prototype of a city of the future at the foot of the Japanese mountain Fuji, spreading over an area of 175 acres. Up to 2,000 volunteers will have a chance to try out the so-called "residential lab" firsthand.
Does it sound incredible to you? Well, it is real! At this year's CES (the largest consumer electronics fair) in Las Vegas, USA, Toyota revealed its bold plan to build this prototype of a city, which had been thought out into the tiniest details.
Not just anyone can become one of its settlers. The residents, as well as researchers, will be living here permanently, testing and developing various technologies in areas such as robotics, personal mobility, smart homes and artificial intelligence in a real environment.
"Building a complete greenfield city - even on such a small scale - is a unique opportunity to develop technologies of the future, including digital operating systems for the city's infrastructure. Thanks to the interconnection and communication between people, buildings and vehicles by the means of data and sensors, we will be able to test Artificial Intelligence technology in both virtual and real environments, thereby maximizing its potential,"
Woven City will be home to employees with their families, retired married couples, retailers, visiting scientists and partners from other companies. It starts with two thousand inhabitants, but is expected to grow along with the development of the city.
"We welcome everyone interested in improving our future way of life to take advantage of this unique research ecosystem and join us in our efforts to create a better way of life and ensure mobility for everyone,"
The entire "incubator" was designed on comission by Danish architect Bjark Ingels, who designed skyscrapers in San Francisco and Vancouver together with his team, and even left his mark on the World Trade Center #2 project in New York or Google's new headquarters.
Part of the general plan of the city is also the determination of the use of individual communications, which are divided into three categories: only for faster vehicles, for slower means of personal mobility in combination with pedestrians, or for pedestrian walking, similarly as in the park. All three types of streets are interwoven to form an organic network that will contribute to faster testing of autonomous technologies.
The entire city is designed to be fully sustainable with predominantly wood buildings in consideration of environmental impacts. The roofs will be covered by photovoltaic panels, so as to generate electricity from solar radiation. Natural elements will also be included, such as natural vegetation and hydroponics, i.e. growing plants without soil in a nutrient solution.
All households will be equipped with the latest assistance technologies. Households will use sensor-based artificial intelligence to monitor the health of the occupants, meet their basic needs, and contribute to improving everyday life.
Only fully autonomous zero-emission vehicles will serve to travel the city along the main arterial roads. Transport and delivery of goods across the city will be provided by autonomous vehicles, which will also serve as flexible mobile stores.
Parks in individual districts will serve as meeting points for the community members, who will also be able to relax in a large central park and at a central square.
Construction of the city is scheduled to begin in early 2021. This luxury Big Brother style living sounds tempting, but its realization remains a question.