Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Toyota to build a ‘smart city’ at the base of Mt Fuji

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Thursday 09 January 20

The automotive manufacturer plans to develop a 175-acre city in which to test the latest in technological innovation

Announced at CES 2020, the city will house around 2,000 residents – primarily Toyota employees and other invested researchers – and will be powered by solar panels and hydrogen fuel cells.    Dubbed ‘Woven City’, this revolutionary city will feature a multitude of AI systems…

Announced at CES 2020, the city will house around 2,000 residents – primarily Toyota employees and other invested researchers – and will be powered by solar panels and hydrogen fuel cells. 
 
Dubbed ‘Woven City’, this revolutionary city will feature a multitude of AI systems, smart homes and autonomous vehicles. 
 
Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda described the city as a “living laboratory”, saying it is a “unique opportunity to develop future technologies, including a digital operating system for the infrastructure.”
 
“With people, buildings and vehicles all connected and communicating with each other through data and sensors, we will be able to test connected AI technology, in both the virtual and physical realms, maximising its potential,” said Toyoda.  
 
As a case study for examining a variety of emerging technologies at scale, the telecoms industry will surely watch the development of this city with great interest. Japanese telco giant NTT is already linked with Toyota to deliver connected cars, and this is surely the tip of the iceberg for the prospective city’s connectivity requirements. 
 
This is not the first time such a project has been planned. Indeed, Google announced their intention to turn an area of Toronto on the banks of Lake Ontario into a smart neighbourhood. 
 
However, homes in this area are only scheduled to be built by 2023. On the other hand, construction of Woven City is due to begin in 2021.
 
It is unclear whether 2020 will be the decade of smart cities, but what is known is that telcos will have to be on their toes to take the lead in this emerging market or risk being left behind by outsiders like the increasingly diverse automotive industry giants.
 
 
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