Transitioning from an analogue city to a digitally smart one can be problematic. How do you mix and match? But what if you started out from scratch on a greenfield site? That leaves the way clear to try out all sorts of ideas, inventions and prototypes. So, that is what Toyota is planning: a 175 acre smart city in Japan at the base of Mount Fuji. It will be a testing ground for smart homes and artificial intelligence. Toyota employees and their families, retirees, retailers and scientists will live in smart homes and get around in automated vehicles.
Home robotics technology will assist with daily living and monitor basic needs. The article about the Woven City by Katie Warren in the Business Insider provides more information on this idea.
“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 the physical realms … maximizing its potential,” said Toyota president, Akio Toyoda. As he wants it to be easy for people to mobilise, I hope the designers consider the principles of universal design across the design spectrum.
Picture courtesy Toyota is an artist impression of the planned smart city.