At CES, Toyota is revealing ambitious plans to create a "prototype city of the future" on a 175-acre site at the base of Mt. Fuji. Called the Woven City, the site will be designed by Bjarke Ingels and is envisioned as a "living laboratory" where residents and researchers can live with and test cutting-edge technologies in a real-world incubator.
The name of the city refers to three street types that will "weave together to form an organic grid pattern to help accelerate the testing of autonomy," according to a press release. One will be exclusively for fast vehicles, one is for a mix of lower speed personal mobility vehicles and pedestrians, and the third will be a "park-like promenade for pedestrians only." Only autonomous, zero-emission vehicles will be allowed. Toyota will deploy its e-Palettes for a range of uses: as delivery vehicles, for ride-sharing services, and as mobile offices or retail spaces.
The city will run on Toyota's hydrogen fuel cell technology but rooftops will also be covered in photo-voltaic panels to provide supplemental solar power. Most buildings will be made of wood and residences will be fully equipped with in-home robotics and sensor-based AI. The company's press release says it will "deploy connected technology with integrity and trust, securely and positively" but leaves out how those goals would be achieved.
The Japanese automaker plans to house 2,000 residents there full-time—mainly Toyota employees and their families to start—and anticipates the project will break ground in 2021.