Toyota’s City of the Future
At the foot of Mount Fuji, automotive giant Toyota is laying the groundwork for a rival tourist attraction. At CES 2020, an announcement of its brand-new “city of the future” blew investors’ minds!
Toyota plans to cram every possible new-age tech concept into a 175-acre ‘Woven City.’ From electric and autonomous vehicles to hydrogen fuel cell facilities, it’s supposed to be fully self-sustainable with real residential potential for 2,000 employees.
Those employees will use three-lane roads in the city to test autonomous mobile food and health clinics, micro-mobility solutions, and pedestrian projects that Toyota plans to commercialise. After their day at work, employees will head back to their robotically-assisted homes to have artificial intelligence run their chores.
The city’s creative architect is Danish-born Bjarke Ingels, the same man behind Alphabet’s new headquarters, 2 World Trade Center plans in New York, and blueprints of future Mars bases. His motivation for getting involved is more philosophical, keen to prove that in a world where billions stare down at phones, technology in this city can strengthen the human connection, not just a bandwidth connection.
This whole project Toyota President Aiko Toyoda’s “personal field of dreams” apparently, which is all well and good, but how much will it cost?!
In showcasing ecological aesthetics, some investors have raised eyebrows at the Woven City’s expensive and difficult to maintain tree decor, and almost entirely wooden structure. Sometimes high-tech innovation ends in explosions and fireballs!
Then there’s the unknown completion date. Who knows how many smart vehicles could be on the roads by the time the Woven City ribbon is cut, or more importantly, the brand badges on the front of them? From a business standpoint, this place needs to be an evergreen, flexible incubator for disruptive technologies to disrupt technologies, over and over again. That’s what the bulls are betting on!