Toyota is building ‘smart city’ with self-driving cars, robots and AI homes

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Toyota has started building a "smart city" which will include self-driving cars, robotics and AI homes.

Construction began this week at the base of Japan's Mount Fuji, and has been dubbed the "Woven City."

The 175-acre city is set to function as a technological testing ground, with 360 residents to test and develop the tech.

This includes senior citizens, families and children.

Eventually, the city will be home to around 2,000 Toyota employees, reports Business Insider.

Other aspects of the Woven City include hydrogen fuel cells and it is reported the city will be fully sustainable.

In order to be fully sustainable, building will be made out of wood to minimise carbon footprint.

However, the cost of the project is unknown and Toyota has not yet given a date for completion, although residents will be able to move in the next five years.

The project has been a topic of concern, with critics saying it should focus on the human aspect rather than technology.

John Jung, founder of the Intelligent Community Forum think tank, told Bloomberg in January 2020: "If it's not started from a human-centric perspective, from the bottom up as opposed to from the top down, these aren't real cities.

"They're not designed to get [people] to know each other."

In a speech to mark the start of its construction on February 23, Akio Toyoda said: "Today, as we hold a ground-breaking ceremony, I would like to express my appreciation to the people of Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture, and other local communities, as well as our construction partners, who have given us tremendous support for the Woven City project.

"It is not easy to proceed with things as planned under the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to all those involved in the project for their hard efforts to make this happen."

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