Toyota plans to build a town in Japan for testing AI, robots, and sustainable energy
Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota, said that the automotive company plans to build the town of the future on the site of a former car factory in Japan.
Toyota Woven City will combine a wide array of technologies, including robotics, smart homes, autonomous vehicles, the internet of things, digital health, and sustainable energy. It will be built on 175 acres of land.
The company unveiled the vision for the town at CES 2020, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas. Toyoda said the company has been planning it for eight months, and it is now ready to show off the vision.
It will have streets with three types of lanes: pedestrians, bicycles and scooters, and autonomous vehicles.
“I’m sure everyone is wondering when can they move in?” he said. The first groundbreaking will happen in 2021. “I guess you could say this is my personal field of dreams,” Toyoda said. “If you build it, they will come.”
The idea is to test how to create a city from the ground up. The company hopes to house Toyota researchers and employees, families, retirees, retailers, students, and more. The company will build the city as a virtual world first, to test ideas and learn from mistakes, Toyoda said.
“We want to turn AI into intelligence amplified in a world where AI has negative connotations,” he said. “Right now, you might think this guy has lost his mind. Is he a Japanese version of Willy Wonka?”
He said he believes it is a chance to weave together a new kind of city, all with views of Mount Fuji in Japan.
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