As the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics get underway amid major infrastructure issues and protests, Tokyo is in the middle of its high-tech preparations for hosting the 2020 Summer Games.
Host nation Brazil has faced myriad troubles staging this year’s games, including polluted water for the aquatic events, rundown athlete accommodations, and athlete-targeted crime to name just a few. But Japan’s capital city is expected to present a full gamut of new technology much like it did when it hosted the 1964 Summer Games.
Already standing as the fifth-most expensive city in the world, Tokyo will reportedly unveil new transportation means for athletes, green technology to lower carbon emissions, as well as advanced, high-resolution cameras to broadcast the games around the globe.
According to The Washington Post, Tokyo is testing driverless taxis paired with an app that athletes or spectators can use to reach events around the city. Furthermore, to cut down on harmful emissions, the city is spending $367 million to place hydrogen-fuel-cell cars and their refueling stations on the road. The Olympic Village, where most athletes stay during the games, will be powered by the fuel cells, as well.
Tokyo is even testing out holograms, and the Olympic Broadcasting Services intends to shoot the games in 8K UHD, which provides roughly 16-times the resolution of high-definition televisions.
Also, the Tokyo Games already have a brand new logo after its initial roll out was panned by accusations of plagiarism. According to Wired, a checkered wreath-looking ring designed by Japanese artist Asao Tokolo will serve as the main symbol for the games.
The Games will also serve as a testing ground for five new events. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Wednesday that baseball and softball, karate, skateboarding, sports climbing, and surfing will all be part of the 2020 Games in an effort to draw younger viewers.
“We want to take sport to the youth. With the many options that young people have, we cannot expect any more that they will come automatically to us,” IOC president Thomas Bach said in a statement. “We have to go to them. Tokyo 2020’s balanced proposal fulfills all of the goals of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendation that allowed it. Taken together, the five sports are an innovative combination of established and emerging, youth-focused events that are popular in Japan and will add to the legacy of the Tokyo Games.”
Tokyo will host the Games for the second time (first since 1964), and the fourth overall time for Japan following the 1972 Sapporo Winter Games and 1998 in Nagano. Japan will be third all-time, behind France’s five and the United States’ eight, as a four-time host.
Back in September 2013, Tokyo beat out Istanbul and Madrid after three rounds of voting. Istanbul and Madrid were tied for second behind Tokyo in the first ballot, then Istanbul won the run-off with Madrid before losing to Tokyo in the last vote.