"What if we had the opportunity to do it all in one place?" he said. "In a real-life environment, instead of a simulated one? This was on our mind when we were making plans to close a factory in Japan and we were wondering what to do with this soon-to-be-available land near Mount Fuji."
Woven City would be "a prototype town of the future where people live, work, play and participate in a living laboratory," Toyoda said. "This will be a truly unique opportunity to create an entire community or city from the ground up, and allow us to build an infrastructure of the future."
That component makes the Woven City concept unique among other vehicle test hubs, said Mark Boyadjis, global tech lead of automotive advisory services at IHS Markit. Other simulated sites test the tool — the vehicle — in a model of a modern city, he said. Toyota instead plans to test how the vehicle works as part of a city, connecting to the home and to the people living there.
"It's really hard to digitize the existing curb of today, but if you build the new curb, taking out the assumptions that current infrastructure has, that gives you an advantage," Boyadjis told Automotive News. "That's what this platform is.