Envisioned as a “living laboratory,” the city will be home to full time residents and researchers who will be able to test and develop technologies such as autonomy, robotics, personal mobility, smart homes and artificial intelligence (A.I.) in a real world environment.
Building a complete city from the ground up, even on a small scale like this, 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 A.I. technology, in both the virtual and physical realms, maximising its potential.
A. Toyoda, Toyota Motor Corporation President
Under the city’s masterplan, street use has three designations, one for faster vehicles only, one for a mix of lower speed vehicles, personal mobility and pedestrians, and one for pedestrians only, a park-like promenade. These three street types will weave together in an organic grid pattern to help accelerate the testing of autonomous transport.
The city is planned to be fully sustainable, with buildings made mostly of wood using traditional Japanese joinery and robotised production methods, to minimise the carbon footprint. The roofs will be covered in photo-voltaic panels to generate solar power, adding to the energy produced by hydrogen fuel cells. Toyota also plans to weave in the natural world throughout the city, with native vegetation and hydroponics.
Residential buildings will be equipped with the latest human support technologies, such as in-home robotics to assist with daily living. Homes will use sensor based A.I. to check the occupants’ health, take care of basic needs and enhance daily life.
Only fully autonomous, zero emission vehicles will be allowed on the main thoroughfares to move residents around. Throughout the city, autonomous Toyota e-Palette vehicles will be used for transport and deliveries, and as changeable mobile retail units.
Neighbourhood parks, a large central recreation area and a central plaza for social gatherings will be designed to bring the community together.
Groundbreaking for the site is scheduled for early 2021.