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Toyota to build prototype city of the future in Japan

30 Comments
By Jane Lanhee Lee and David Shepardson

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30 Comments
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Sounds exciting (no sarcasm involved)

6 ( +8 / -2 )

It sounds fun.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Wonder how much the government will "gift" Toyota to help with the R&D. They usually do.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Yeah yeah city of the future, from a country that can't isolate properly its buildings. That's laughable.

It seems to be an association of the current buzz words, autonomous cars, "smart homes," artificial intelligence. bla bla, this is just PR marketing at this point.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Mori building brought in OMA also Toyota brings in BIG. They didn’t invite Japanese architect. Already Japanese Architect might not involved in this at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wishing them the best of luck. I hope they start with wide escape routes for when Fuji erupts or the biggie hits.

They mention hydrogen fuel cells, which is great, and I'd love to be able to afford a HFC car like the Mirai, but I believe China has done wonders with methane fuel cells, and drones that fly for 12 hours on them.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Make it foreigner friendly as well if you want to call it a "prototype city of the future" in Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Wow, this is a great idea. There's a lot of new technology that's being put out piecemeal by piecemeal but with this pro-type city, they'll be able to test everything out at once. If I could, I'd like to give it a try and move there with my family.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Interesting! Will the city of the future be able to accommodate 35% of the population over 60 with no money and 25% of the children living in poverty with a downward spiralling economy? Or, is this a different future?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Looks like it is planned for for the Susuno City area in Shizuoka ken. Sounds quite exciting, look forward to see how it goes. Residential area in Japan are a bit of a mess, they tend to just evolve as opposed to being planned. The result is a quite un-Japanese complicated scruffiness with utility poles placed on roads, no sidewalks and roads that change width every hundred metres.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Sounds like one of those things that looks really cool in a planning meeting but will likely be an abandoned ghost town in 20 years.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It'll be interesting to see what they do.

The site of the factory where they are building this is a square kilometer mostly in a triangle where the Tomei expressway splits into the Tomei and Shin Tomei in Susuno, about 10km south east of Mount Fuji. There's a factory, various other buildings, and a Toyota test track there now. With the highway so close, it's not quite the rural idyll in the artist's impression.

Japan already has a large problem with vacant and abandoned buildings and depopulation-driven decline (called "kasoka" in Japanese). Would this smart city be to house 2000 people who've abandoned somewhere else to go there?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

daito_hakToday  04:58 pm JST

Yeah yeah city of the future, from a country that can't isolate properly its buildings. That's laughable.

It seems to be an association of the current buzz words, autonomous cars, "smart homes," artificial intelligence. bla bla, this is just PR marketing at this point.

Anti-Japan much..?

Toyota make good on their plans, otherwise they wouldn't announce it. Your statement aside, here's nothing laughable about this at all. In fact, what you'll see is copycat towns popping up elsewhere by Honda to show that they are serious about their 'connected' technologies too.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Someday, I'll be the Edgar Friendly living under that city of the future.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Will it have a real address system? You know, with street names and house numbers? Roundabouts instead of traffic lights every 50 metres? A city that you can find your way about without having to use a cell phone or "car navi?"

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Is he like a Japanese version of Willy Wonka?"

No, he is like a Japanese version of the monorail salesman...

Monorail! Monorail! Monorail!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Roundabouts instead of traffic lights every 50 metres?

Lol, if they did that you'd have a Mexican standoff or a pile up every 50 metres instead.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Back in 1989 then Australian PM Bob Hawke anounced plans to build something pretty much the same. He called it the Multifunction Polis. It was supposed to be built with Japanese technological expertise, but the idea was met with derision and even anti-Japanese racism and went nowhere. But that was Australia 30 years ago. Tell the truth, I don't think Australia could get it off the ground even now. But Japan might.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

175 acres is less than one square kilometer. How are you supposed to show how viable 'smart' transportation systems are when then whole doggone thing can be walked north to south in about five to ten minutes?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Mori has developed a few 'intelligent' buildings in Tokyo, tolerable to live and work in, as long as you don't mind long rides and waits in elevators, little greenery, expensive rent, parking and eating, and don't want to do anything original or individual to or in the building. Hope this proposed new place acknowledges that people are not all the same.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If Japan is able to tranfrom to a hydrogen based energy economy it would go a long way toward reducing carbon (if they make the hydrogen cleanly) and more importantly, it will 100% remove energy (oil, natural gas, coal, etc) as something the nation imports. Lithium ion batteries (Tesla) is not the answer. They will never be used for plans, ships, trains etc. Batteries are stuck with the fact that bigger energy consumption requires bigger batteries. You know AAA, AA, C, D, etc.

Exciting times. We are both on the edge of extinction and truly making clean energy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As David Varnes says, it's going to be compact enough to not particularly need transportation. However, since it is located between the Tomei and Shin Tomei expressways, the residents will still get to enjoy the sounds and air quality produced by Toyota and their rivals' conventional and not-so-smart vehicles.

One major pollutant from cars is from tyre wear, so you don't want to be right next to a road even if every car on it is electric or hydrogen powered.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Somebody tell me they've got flying cars and bathroom cleaning robots. OK, maybe the flying cars might have to wait until Honda builds a sister city. In fact cars (Toyota's) might not even be needed with only 175 Acres to cover...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cool. Can foreigners live there?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I bet these 'smart homes' are built from plywood and don't have double glazing, insulation and central heating.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The base of Fuji is an eyesore of expressways, paper mills and other factories belching smoke, wires tangled stretching from Mishima to the town of Fuji.

Any new city should deal with this mess as a priority

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's very easy to be cynical about anything and I suppose some people even feel smart and "funny" by expressing their skepticism. However, initiatives such as this are absolutely necessary if we are going to move towards more sustainability. So, I'll cast my doubts aside and wholeheartedly cheer them on!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Yeah, that'll work.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

¡Congratulations !!.Bye bye from oil age. Nations as Mexico is waiting for miracles using oil and producing pollution....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This sounds like a great place to test the fusion reactor Lockheed's Skunk Works is working on. I think 2025 is when they expect it to be completed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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