The Taipei Department of Transportation yesterday announced that it would start road tests for autonomous buses in May and allow city residents to take part in the trial services beginning in September.
The city government is looking to automated buses as a solution to the shortage of nighttime public vehicle drivers, officials from the transportation and information technology departments told a news conference.
Following the signing of a letter of intent between the city government and Turing Drive Co last year, the company submitted to the Ministry of Economic Affairs its “trial project for uncrewed vehicles with innovative technology.”
Photo courtesy of the Taipei Department of Transportation
The ministry on Feb. 3 convened a meeting to review the project and approved it on Tuesday last week.
The transportation department said it is planning to conduct road tests for autonomous buses at night on Xinyi Road, which has dedicated bus lanes, for one year.
The first phase of the project would include creating high-definition maps, installing smart devices throughout the planned route and constructing charging stations for buses, it said.
The second phase, which is to start in May, would involve engineers to test the program’s reactions to all sorts of scenarios during trial operation, it said.
The planned route is to start at the intersection of Xinyi and Zhongshan South roads and end at the intersection of Xinyi and Keelung Road, said that Chung Hui-tsun (鍾惠存), head of the transportation department’s Information and Technology Division.
The buses would switch to manual drivers at the east and west terminals to drive the vehicles back to dedicated bus lanes, he said.
The initial speed for autonomous buses would not exceed 15kph, with the tests being conducted from midnight to 2:30am, he said.
The speed and time for road tests would be adjusted accordingly throughout the trial period, with trial services commencing in September, he said.
The city government is to make the final decision on whether the buses are ready for service based on data gathered during the road-test and trial-service period, Chung added.
CLEAR BEFORE LEAVING: Two baby boys and a woman in her 30s tested negative before departing for Japan, but tests taken after their arrival came back postive Three Taiwanese tested positive for COVID-19 when they arrived in Japan earlier this month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a new imported case. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the center, said that one of the three cases in Japan is a Taiwanese baby under the age of one, whose parents work in Japan. The infant came to Taiwan with his parents in January, and the parents paid for the family’s COVID-19 tests on Oct. 10 ahead of their planned return to Japan on Monday last week, he said. The boy and his
‘BACKED BY ENEMY’: CTi News is one of the few channels promoting unification, the New Party chairman said, while pro-Taiwan groups called it a propaganda outlet Pan-blue camp supporters yesterday lodged a protest at the National Communications Commission (NCC) against what they say is a possible move by the government to shut down CTi News, adding that politics should not interfere with freedom of the press. Protesters included representatives from the New Party, the Blue Sky Action Alliance, the 333 Political Party Alliance and other pan-blue groups. “We stand here today because CTi News is one of the few media outlets in Taiwan that is still willing to give groups supporting unification with China a voice. If the news channel is gone, there would only be
NEW YEAR’S EVE: Examples from South Korea and Japan show that 15 local COVID-19 infections could emerge in a short period if measures are not taken The Taipei City Government would cancel its New Year’s Eve Party and all large events if 15 or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 are reported in the city within a week, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday. Addressing the Taipei Cross Border E-Commerce Annual Convention, Ko said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many uncertainties to society, and that e-commerce is on a path of no return and would continue to grow. Many countries have not effectively controlled their COVID-19 outbreaks, and although Taiwan implements strict border controls and there have been few inbound passengers, the pandemic is unlikely to end soon,
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused CTi News of trying to mislead the public by publishing a half-page advert claiming that the party interfered in the National Communications Commission’s (NCC) review of its application for a license renewal. CTi News is distorting the commission’s review process by painting it as a political conflict and turning it into a smear campaign against the DPP, party spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳) said. “The NCC is an independent body, which carries out reviews and makes decisions based on its members’ professional expertise, as well as regulations and legal requirements governing media operations,” Yen said. “We condemn