February 23, 2021News

Toyota Breaks Ground for "Woven City"

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Construction of the prototype city of the future where all ecosystems are connected begins at the Higashi-Fuji Site (Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture)

Toyota City, Japan (February 23, 2021) - Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) and Woven Planet Holdings, Inc. (Woven Planet), the Toyota Group company responsible for a wide range of mobility development projects, anchored in software, held a groundbreaking ceremony (Jichinsai) for the construction of Woven City at 11:00 a.m. on February 23 at the old vehicle yard adjacent to the former Higashi-Fuji Plant site of Toyota Motor East Japan, Inc. (TMEJ).

Woven City Groundbreaking Ceremony

Bringing Akio Toyoda's Vision to Woven City

Along with Governor Heita Kawakatsu of Shizuoka Prefecture, Mayor Kenji Takamura of Susono City, and other guests representing the local community, the ceremony was attended by Toyota President Akio Toyoda, Woven Planet CEO James Kuffner, TMEJ President Kazuhiro Miyauchi, as well as others involved in the project. Together, the leaders expressed their hopes for the safe start to construction.

"The Woven City project officially starts today,” said President Toyoda. “ Taking action as one has decided is never an easy task. I must express my deepest gratitude to all who have provided their whole-hearted support and cooperation to the project through today. 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."

TMEJ President Miyauchi added, "I am deeply grateful for having had our Higashi-Fuji Plant operate here for 53 years with the support of the local community. The knowledge and expertise we acquired from all of the people who worked at the plant must be carried on into the next chapter. With the conviction that Woven City will stand not on mere empty land but where the history of the Higashi-Fuji Plant lies, I will offer the greatest possible collaboration in the future."

To prepare for an era in which all ecosystems that support everyday life are connected with data, Toyota announced the construction of the Woven City at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, United States in January. Woven City aims to continuously create advancements that will help better society by accelerating the cycle of technology and development of services.

Woven City is a project that will demonstrate a human-centered approach to community development. In Toyota’s shift from an automobile manufacturer to a mobility company, the project will bring new technology to life in a real-world environment across a wide range of areas, such as automated driving, personal mobility, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI). It is expected to provide a number of opportunities for businesses and researchers around the world.

Woven City will have three types of streets interwoven with each other on the ground level, one dedicated to automated driving, one to pedestrians, and one to pedestrians with personal mobility vehicles. There will also be one underground road used to transport goods. The community will start with roughly 360 residents, mainly senior citizens, families with young children, and inventors and will eventually have a population of more than 2,000 individuals including Toyota employees. The infrastructure of Woven City aims to create an environment where inventions with the potential to solve social issues are created on a timely basis.

On Woven City’s Facebook account, periodic status updates on the progress of the project will be posted.

Woven City Groundbreaking Ceremony President Akio Toyoda Speech

Hello, I’m Akio Toyoda.

I would like to thank you for joining us today.

Today, as we hold a groundbreaking ceremony, I would like to express my appreciation to the people of Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture, and other local communities, as well as our construction partners, who have given us tremendous support for the Woven City project.

Taking action as one has decided is never an easy task under the COVID-19 pandemic. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to all those involved in the project for their hard efforts to make this happen.

On December 9, 2020, the Higashi-Fuji Plant of Toyota Motor East Japan (TMEJ) drew its history to a close, after 53 years of producing vehicles with the support of the community.

In total, 7,000 members have worked here at the plant. This means that plant members have left as many as 14 million footprints in this place every day. We have produced 7.52 million vehicles, in great variety, from the Toyota Century to JPN Taxi. I believe the plant had been a driving force for motorization in Japan, supporting people’s daily lives and promoting a car culture.

The DNA of the Higashi-Fuji Plant: It is the spirit of kaizen (continuous improvement), an attitude of working for others, or the “YOU perspective” as I call it, and the heart of embracing diversity and inclusion.

These are inherited as the three unwavering principles of Woven City; a human-centered city, a living laboratory, and an ever-evolving, city.

“We want to weave the history of Higashi-Fuji Plant into the future of this town.” “We want to be a best-in-town company that people in the local community love and rely upon.” This is the aspiration that all of us at Toyota would like to carry on.

I would like to conclude my remarks by promising that, always keeping this aspiration in mind, we will continue to take every step forward into the future together with everyone in the community.

Thank you again for joining us today.

Article Assets

Woven by Toyota executives taking part in the groundbreaking ceremony for Woven City
Woven by Toyota executives taking part in the groundbreaking ceremony for Woven City
Woven by Toyota executives attending the groundbreaking ceremony for Woven City
Wide shot of Akio Toyoda giving his speech at the Woven City groundbreaking ceremony
Close-up of Akio Toyoda giving his speech at the Woven City groundbreaking ceremony