Toyota has founded a new city that will be staffed and served by robots to cater to your every whim. What could possibly go wrong?
At the foot of Mount Fuji, construction has just begun on a small settlement named Woven City, a “smart city” founded by the Toyota corporation. The space it will occupy was formerly a manufacturing plant, but now it will become an energy-efficient “living laboratory” for robotics technologies.
Starting with 360 residents, the tech town named ‘Woven City’ will have a population of 2,000, including Toyota employees – and it already has its own Facebook page.
Upon its opening, President Toyoda said: “The unwavering themes of the Woven City are ‘human-centered,’ ‘a living laboratory’ and ‘ever-evolving.’ Together with the support of our project partners, we will take on the challenge of creating a future where people of diverse backgrounds are able to live happily.”
The autonomous electric e-Palette cars in the video above will be the conurbation’s main mode of transport, with human-driven cars completely out of the question. Buildings will be made out of wood and partly constructed by robots, and energy sources will include solar, geothermal, and hydrogen fuel cells. On top of that, there will even be robots to perform such tasks as “restocking the fridge, taking out the trash, and even reminding residents to visit their doctor”, according to The Register.
The progress manifested by this city sits well in accordance with the Japanese government’s stated aim of carbon neutrality by 2050, but the omnipresence of robots might seem a bit disquieting to many of us who have seen one too many dystopian sci-fi movies, or who long for real human contact once this pandemic is over, rather than yet more digital interfaces.
But what do you think? Would Woven City be your ideal home, or your the enighbourhood of your nightmares? Let us know your thoughts in the poll below.