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Taipei City Government unveils self-driving vehicle test site
- March 14, 2018
A self-driving shuttle bus, golf cart and tricycle sit in an intersection March 13 at the driverless vehicle testing site in Taipei City. (Courtesy of TCG)

Taiwan's first self-driving vehicle test site was launched March 13 in Taipei City, furthering the city government’s efforts to spur smart city development and enhance residents' quality of life.

The site, which will facilitate testing until the end of June, was established under a program that aims to provide spaces for experimental development in such areas as traffic control and medical services. Beginning in July, the area will be developed into the Beitou Shilin Science Park, which has been designed to draw businesses from the biotech, media as well as information and communication technology sectors.

According to TCG, companies and research groups slated to test their driverless products and technologies at the site include New Taipei City-based 7Starlake Co. and Acer Inc., as well as Taipei's National Taiwan University. The state-backed Automotive Research and Testing Center will provide experts to offer guidance and suggestions.

Taipei Deputy Mayor Lin Chin-rong said the testing site is only the first step in boosting the city's technological development, and that further sites will be established in and around locations like Taipei Expo Park and Taipei Zoo. Lin added that the city is working closely with central government agencies to fast-track legislation for autonomous vehicles testing.

According to the deputy mayor, the metropolis has a reputation for pioneering the development of driverless vehicle technology. He cited the autonomous EZ10 shuttle bus, which was tested Aug. 1-5 in the bus lanes of Xinyi Road between Dunhua South and Fuxing South roads.

Members of the public will be able to experience the battery-powered EZ10, which utilizes a GPS tracking system and six light-detecting sensors, during the Smart City Summit and Expo running March 27-30 in Taipei. (CPY-E)