2020 Vision - Toyota Style

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Toyota is building a 'smart' city to test AI, robots and self-driving cars

Carmaker Toyota has unveiled plans for a 2,000-person "city of the future," where it will test autonomous vehicles, smart technology and robot-assisted living.

The ambitious project, dubbed Woven City, is set to break ground next year in the foothills of Japan's Mount Fuji, about 60 miles from Tokyo.

Announcing the project at the (CES) in Las Vegas, Toyota's CEO Akio Toyoda described the new city as a "living laboratory" that will allow researchers, scientists and engineers to test emerging technology in a "real-life environment."

"With people buildings and vehicles all connected and communicating with each other through data and sensors, we will be able to test AI technology, in both the virtual and the physical world, maximizing its potential," he said on stage during

Tuesday's unveiling. "We want to turn artificial intelligence into intelligence amplified."

Only fully autonomous and zero-emission cars will be permitted to operate on its streets. A fleet of self-driving vehicles known as Toyota e-Palettes will be used for delivery and retail purposes.

Power storage and water filtration facilities will be hidden beneath the ground. Above ground, meanwhile, BIG's master plan features a plaza, parks and car-free promenades, with Ingels stressing the importance of public spaces in his design.

Construction on the first phase of the project, which BIG said will consist of more than a dozen structures, is set to begin in 2021. No date was given for its estimated completion.