Tue, Dec 03, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Smart transport systems’ budget to double: MOTC

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The government plans to double the budget for the development of smart transportation systems over the next five years, Minister of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said yesterday.

Lin made the announcement at the opening of the Annual Meeting of Intelligent Transportation Society of Taiwan.

Since 2017, the ministry has spent NT$3 billion (US$98.3 million at the current exchange rate) on a four-year project to develop intelligent transportation systems, Lin said, adding that the project has produced “impressive” results, such as the development of autonomous vehicles.

Three universities have developed an Internet of Vehicles system for motorcycles that has proven to help reduce accidents involving student motorcyclists by nearly half, Lin said.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications has developed two mobile apps — Umaji and Mengo — to help drivers traveling between Taipei and Yilan as well as in Kaohsiung navigate traffic during peak hours, Lin said.

It also used big data analysis to ease traffic congestion along the main gateway to the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區) and reduce travel time for commuters by 30 percent, he said.

Intelligent transportation management systems have helped enhance the safety of pedestrians at intersections in Taipei, Taoyuan, Tainan, Taichung and Kaohsiung, Lin said, adding that transportation service coverage rate in Hualien and Taitung rose from 69.9 to 92.1 percent.

From 2021 to 2025, the ministry plans to raise the budget for the nationwide development of intelligent transportation systems to NT$6 billion in hopes of making Taiwan a global leader in the field, he said.

The funds would be used for upgrades in traffic data analysis, to help transportation companies improve their services, and offer public transportation services to elderly and economically disadvantaged people, Lin said.

The would also be used in the continued development of autonomous vehicles, smart motorcycles and other innovative transportation services, he added.

“Transportation is the biggest service provider, on which the government and private sector should collaborate to aid dialogue between experts from different fields. That way, we can together tackle issues facing the transportation industry from various angles,” he said.

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