Sat, May 04, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Ministers tout transportation tech plan

SPORTING ANALOGY:Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung said his ministry would form a ‘national team’ to contest an exports ‘world cup’

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin, second left, and Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung, second right, promote smart electric scooter technology and innovation at a forum in Taipei on Thursday.

Photo: CNA

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications has established a transportation technology and industry board with the Ministry of Economic Affairs to facilitate innovation in and transformation of the transportation industry by integrating resources from government agencies and academia, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said on Thursday.

“We have prepared for three months for the establishment of the board, during which time we have chosen 15 high-tech industries related to transportation to be developed,” Lin told reporters at a forum on the development of smart electric scooters.

“Board members are to meet every three months. When there is no meeting, task forces can tackle industry issues. This would increase communication between industries, academia and government agencies,” he said.

In addition to smart electric scooters, his ministry plans to develop services involving uncrewed aerial vehicles, self-driving vehicles, Internet of Things in vehicles in the 5G era, offshore wind power and rail technology, he said.

Its regulations should be in sync with the development of smart electric scooters, Lin said.

More importantly, both ministries should create an environment in which the use of the scooters should be regulated from the perspective of industrial development, he said.

“We are also looking forward to forming a ‘national team’ to play at the ‘world cup’ of exporting products,” Lin said, adding that many industry operators have high expectations of the partnership between the two ministries.

The transportation ministry has compiled a large database of how motorcycles are used and automobile safety research, Lin said, adding that it has been working with three universities to gather Internet of vehicles-related data from 7,000 motorcycles.

Preserving and managing this information would be crucial in the development of smart electric scooters, he said.

Other issues would emerge with increased use of new vehicle technologies, including parking management, data collection, safety and insurance, he said.

Resolving these issues might require a different way of thinking about transportation services and management, which would present more business opportunities, he said.

The transportation ministry should draft rules in advance by taking into account industrial trends, human behavior and laws in other countries, so that industry operators would not feel restricted, he said.

Encouraging the development and use of smart electric scooters does not contradict his ministry’s policy of promoting public transportation, Lin said.

“The public transport system is important, but motorcycles remain an irreplaceable part of the transportation network in a densely populated nation. We hope that motorcycles become smarter and greener,” he said.

Locally made electric scooters are popular among young Taiwanese because they are equipped with powerful motors, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said, adding that the nation has manufacturers of electric motors, batteries and battery management systems for scooters, as well as developers of motorcycle apps.

Apps can offer personalized services, such as reminding people to slow down, finding parking spots and sending birthday greetings, Shen said, adding that component manufacturers could form a supply chain for electric scooters.

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