What's Toyota doing building a smart city?
CEO Akio Toyoda announced that the world’s largest carmaker by market value would, in effect, build its own crystal ball close to Mount Fuji: a 175-acre “smart city” powered by hydrogen fuel cells and designed from the ground up for 2,000 residents.
Toyota is building a living laboratory to observe how residents live with next gen technology, a mass of connected devices and and self-driving automobiles.
In parallel Uber and Hyundai are collaborating on building air taxis with the aim of weaning residents off owning vehicles.
How many enterprises are making these innovative leaps and commitment to collect the data to underpin truly transformative strategies?
The plans for “Woven City” look wild, ambitious and rather bizarre — all the things that CES’s 200,000 annual visitors have come to expect. “You may be thinking, ‘has this guy lost his mind. Is he a Japanese version of Willy Wonka?’” said Mr Toyoda. But he said the carmaker needed to be on top of all the megatrends shaping society in the next decades: urbanisation, environmentalism, an ageing society, the power of 5G wireless connectivity and the potential for artificial intelligence to reinvent every consumer device.