Fri, May 04, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Macquarie, 7Starlake plan self-driving vehicle venture

By Kuo Chia-erh  /  Staff reporter

Macquarie Capital Ltd yesterday said it plans to form a joint venture with mobility solution provider 7Starlake Co (喜門史塔雷克) by the end of this year to explore opportunities in Taiwan’s emerging self-driving vehicle market.

“We have been eyeing the development of new markets [in Taiwan], such as the driverless car market,” said Ryan Chua (蔡毅霆), director of the Sydney-based firm’s operations in Taiwan, adding that the actual size of the joint venture requires more discussion.

Macquarie Capital has also been pouring investments in Taiwan’s solar power and offshore wind energy sectors.

New Taipei City-based 7Starlake is seen as a suitable business partner, given its hands-on experience in the self-driving car sector, Chua said at a Taipei ceremony for the signing of a memorandum of understanding.

The two companies will try to connect the autonomous-driving technologies with a decentralized energy grid, which is in line with the government’s long-term energy plan, 7Starlake president Martin Ting (丁彥允) said.

7Starlake has conducted trial runs of its driverless car service in Kaohsiung and Taipei through collaborations with EasyMile SAS, a French-based start-up that manufactures driverless electric buses.

Self-driving cars are not allowed on public roads in Taiwan, but the government is planning to relax regulations governing real-road tests of autonomous vehicles

The Ministry of Economic Affairs has finished a draft bill for a “regulatory sandbox” for driverless car developers to experiment with their models on open roads under some circumstances.

The bill has been given priority during the current legislative session, the ministry said last month.

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