Engineers who support the Inventors
Virtually Replicating the World to Accelerate the Problem-solving Process
The use of the term ‘digital twin’ has skyrocketed over the last few years. This technology may improve product performance by enabling countless testing scenarios that are much too difficult to replicate in reality. By exploring testing in the virtual world we will be able to bring new technologies and systems into real-world applications faster.
Since childhood, Shoya Kojima of Woven by Toyota has wanted to help others. Through his work developing advanced digital twin technology, he hopes to uncover ways to solve the problems identified by inventors.
Please tell us about the digital twin you’re developing now.
The simulation I’m currently working on uses data collected from the real world to reproduce the target phenomena and projects it into a virtual space. This method is much faster than conventional simulations and by using the digital twin to test new technology and services, we can quickly make necessary changes and feed them back into the real world to get improved outcomes. Although we are still in the pilot phase, once Woven City opens, our calculations will reflect the actual data from the city and we will enter the full-scale utilization phase.
How do you approach work on a daily basis?
Ever since I was a child, I’ve cared deeply about others. When people are suffering, I always feel a strong urge to help them. However, since I can be pretty shy, making altruism a part of my job allows me to help people and contribute to society without being limited by personal hang ups.
In my previous job, I developed software for social infrastructure, but without a real testing environment, I was never able to truly see its impact. Digital twin technology is very different. Now we can thoroughly test and measure the effectiveness of products or services in Woven City in real time. Not only is that satisfying, but once we fine-tune the platforms, we will have the opportunity to expand these capabilities and solve many more problems around the world.
How will using a digital twin help to solve problems?
Toyota Motor Corporation and its approach to traffic safety is a great example of the problem-solving advantages of the digital twin. One of the strategies for achieving Toyota’s ultimate goal being a society with zero traffic casualties, is to develop safe advanced driving technology. However, for safe automated driving to become the norm, it is crucial to consider city infrastructure and traffic rules together. For the Woven City, we are developing a virtual solution that will allow us to study countless situations that take into account the mobility, people, and city infrastructure to preemptively visualize – and ideally eliminate – the risk of traffic accidents.
We are still in the proof-of-concept stage, but we believe that identifying and solving even one dangerous scenario could enable us to contribute to improved traffic safety–in Woven City, and around the world. Digital twins are also useful for improving logistics operations and enhancing operating efficiencies of factory production processes.
I am excited to continue to explore the full potential of this technology and discover all of the ways it may be helpful for others.
How do you plan to support the Woven City inventors?
Digital twins are able to delve deeply into the underlying needs of Woven City inventors. Communication starts at the early development stages where we identify inventors’ challenges, virtually explore their source, and use digital twins to virtually hypothesize solutions. Communication throughout the process is critical to making sure our proposed solution continues to align with their vision. Sometimes the team spends months in front of the whiteboard in heart-to-heart discussions about the results we hope to achieve.
I get so passionate that I can even get a little uncivilized about these development deliberations (laughs). I am very passionate about doing everything that I can to help inventors make their powerful ideas become reality and about making the digital twin platform increasingly effective in the process.
Shoya Kojima is a software engineer experienced in social infrastructure who has been working for Woven by Toyota on the development of digital twins for traffic safety and logistics since 2022.
Problem-solving for Inventors(Toyota Motor Corporation)
Obstacles to Real-Life Traffic Safety Testing
Intentionally causing actual physical crashes in the real world is not an option. However, to ensure the safe flow of traffic and prevent accidents, it is crucial to test accident scenarios in a variety of environments that are active with pedestrians.
Digital Twin Platform
Developing hardware and services begins with historical data. Virtual simulations of the integrated mobility, people and the city infrastructure may provide hypothetical insights that help prevent accidents and optimize development efficacy.