Toyota is building an actual city | Top Gear
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Advertisement feature
eBay's Guide to Thrifty Motoring
Read it all here
Thursday 23rd March
Future Tech

Toyota is building an actual city

'Woven City' will be used to develop autonomous vehicles, AI, robotics and smart home tech

Published: 08 Jan 2020

Car manufacturers are always building new prototype, y’know, cars, but this is the first time we’ve heard of one building its own prototype city.

Yep. Toyota (obviously) is planning to build a 175-acre city at the base of Japan’s Mount Fuji. Construction of ‘Woven City’, which is being designed by the same company behind 2 World Trade Center in New York, Lego House in Denmark, and Google’s Mountain View and London headquarters among others, will begin in 2021.

Advertisement - Page continues below

But what exactly, we hear you cry, is the point? Toyota says Woven City will be a “living laboratory” populated by more than 2,000 people, many of whom will be scientists, engineers and researchers who will use it to “test and develop technologies such as autonomy, robotics, personal mobility, smart homes and artificial intelligence in a real-world environment”. Just imagine the dinner conversations.

Scientists and researchers from around the world will be invited to work on their projects in the city, and Toyota has extended an open invitation to other companies and “academic partners” (universities, we suspect) to get involved too.

The city will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells and solar energy from the photo-voltaic panels that will be fitted on all rooftops. The buildings themselves will be made mostly of wood, making use of “traditional Japanese joinery and robotised production methods” to keep emissions down. Loads of vegetation and a few parks ought to help too.

Houses will be fitted with robotics “to assist with daily living”, as well as AI to monitor occupants’ health, “take care of basic needs and enhance daily life”.

Advertisement - Page continues below

The city will also be used to help develop autonomous vehicles – only fully autonomous, zero emission vehicles are allowed in, with deliveries, public transport and even mobile retail units based on the Toyota e-Palette platform.

Top Gear

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

More from Top Gear

See more on Toyota

Promoted Content

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine

Get your first 5 issues for £5