Toyota's plans for a 175-acre living technology test hub near Japan's Mount Fuji is envisioned as a space for the automaker to develop and pilot new vehicle technology, from mobility to autonomy. It'll also be home to researchers and others who will live near — and with — the technology being tested, right down to inside their homes.
But all of that innovation is going to create data. And with worldwide concerns mounting over data privacy and cybersecurity threats, what does Toyota plan to do with all that information? And will residents of the community Toyota is calling Woven City be willing to share it?
Toyota thinks so.
"We're hopeful that the participants that are partners, that are the residents that move into this, will help us determine what data is meaningful," Zack Hicks, Toyota's executive vice president and chief digital officer, who also leads the automaker's mobility division, told reporters Monday after the company's press conference announcing Woven City.
"How can we just leverage that data in a more meaningful way to give somebody a contextual experience, anticipate what they want before they've asked for it? To get somebody medical help if they need it?"
That would mean being clear with residents about how their data is used, what information is being captured and who gets to see it — and letting people opt in or out based on the types of services they want, Hicks added.
That could be emergency medical care, for instance, or a convenience trip to restock the refrigerator when it's sensed food is running low.
— Lindsay VanHulle