People are not laboratory mice. But people often are happy to experiment with new technology, new surroundings, new approaches to life in general that can be considered laboratory projects. With the backing of major corporations, such experiments can lead to the future in the present.
At a site in Higashi-Fuji, Japan, in a prototype town of the future where people live, work, play, and participate in a living laboratory called Woven City, the future of transportation is being developed. It will be a smart city that allows researchers, engineers, and scientists the opportunity to freely test technology such as autonomy, mobility as a service, personal mobility, robotics, smart home connected technology, AI (artificial intelligence), and more in a real-world environment.
Together with Toyota Motor Corp., BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group is designing and developing Woven City as the world’s first urban incubator dedicated to the advancement of all aspects of mobility. The name, Woven City, is derived from Toyota’s original business as a textile company started in 1920.
Located at a 175-acre former factory site, it creates a new balance between vehicles, alternate forms of movement, people, and nature. The buildings at the Woven City will advance mass timber construction by combining the legacy of Japanese craftmanship and the tatami module with robotic fabrication technology, building sustainably and efficiently far into the future.
Residences in the Woven City will test new technology such as in-home robotics to assist with daily living. These smart homes take advantage of full connectivity using sensor-based AI technology to perform functions including automatic grocery deliveries, laundry pick-ups, or trash disposal.
The city will leverage solar energy, geothermal energy, and hydrogen fuel-cell technology to strive towards a carbon neutral society. ENEOS Corporation and Toyota will use the project to explore CO2-free hydrogen production and usage. Together with Toyota’s subsidiary Woven Planet Holdings, Inc., they will accelerate efforts by managing technical logistics.
ENEOS and Toyota will also research and design an efficient hydrogen supply and demand management system. The ENEOS hydrogen refueling station is scheduled to begin operations before the opening of Woven City in 2024-2025.
ENEOS will produce “green hydrogen,” derived from renewable energy, by electrolyzers and supply it to Woven City to be used at a stationary fuel cell generator that will be installed by Toyota. The use of hydrogen-powered fuel cell mobility for logistics in and nearby Woven City will be promoted and a base unit of hydrogen demand for those mobility logistics will be evaluated.
The ENEOS hydrogen refueling station will produce the hydrogen that will meet the energy needs of FCEVs (fuel-cell electric vehicles) in and around Woven City. This collaboration expedites progress toward realizing a truly carbon-neutral society and will facilitate and normalize clean energy operations first at Woven City and eventually the world.
Want to tweet about this article? Use hashtags #construction #sustainability #infrastructure #IoT #AI #5G #cloud #edge #futureofwork #buildings