Toyota Is Building Its Own City Near Mount Fuji

Woven City will act as a lab where the company can test new technology, from autonomous vehicles to smart homes.

Rendering of a the aerial view of Toyota's conceptual Woven City
Photo: Courtesy of Toyota

Japanese car company Toyota isn't just investing in a Silicon Valley-style campus like Google or Apple — it's building an entirely branded smart city.

Toyota initially announced the project in 2020 and, according to Forbes, promised a "city of the future" on a former factory site near Mount Fuji in Japan. "Woven City," as it's been dubbed, will be a conscious community as well as a lab for the carmaker to conduct market research on new technology, like autonomous vehicles, smart homes, and AI.

Rendering of the promenade of Toyota's conceptual Woven City
Courtesy of Toyota

The company broke ground on the 175-acre site in early 2021, according to Insider, and it's expected within the next five years it will welcome an initial population of around 360 inventors, senior citizens, and families with young children, before ultimately expanding to 2,000 residents.

Rendering of a the aerial view of Toyota's conceptual Woven City
Courtesy of Toyota

"The Woven City project officially starts today," the company's president, Akio Toyoda, said in a statement about the groundbreaking. "The unwavering themes of the Woven City are 'human-centered,' '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."

Rendering of a typical city block inside Toyota's conceptual Woven City
Courtesy of Toyota
Rendering of a Smart Home inside Toyota's conceptual Woven City
Courtesy of Toyota

The company announced back in 2020 that it had solicited the services of famed Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels (of Bjarke Ingels Group, responsible for 2 World Trade Center and the Lego House in Denmark, among other high-profile projects) for the city's design.

Appropriately, Woven City will be built in an organic grid pattern with three different types of streets for different vehicles, Insider reported. One pathway will be for self-driving vehicles, one for pedestrians using bikes or similar devices, and one for pedestrians only. The fourth pathway, located underneath the city, will be used for moving goods as well as the source of the city's logistics network.

The city will only allow fully-autonomous, zero-emission vehicles, including Toyotas' own battery-electric carriers, known as "e-Palettes," which will be tested by Woven City residents as public transportation, deliveries, and mobile retail.

Rendering of the main plaza of Toyota's conceptual Woven City
Courtesy of Toyota

Every building will be built with sustainable materials and feature renewable energy, including photo-voltaic solar panels and the company's hydrogen fuel cell technology to power the town, Insider reported.

According to Toyota, the city will consist of smart homes that have the ability to assist occupants with in-home robotics and health monitoring with sensor-based AI that will increase residents' quality of life.

For more information about the project, visit the Woven City website.

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