The first autonomous vehicle has been verified for operation on the open road in Asia with no traffic restrictions. And this is no corner case, flash-in-the-pan technology. The white 4-door minivan’s modular software can be integrated into all manner of vehicles including cars, trucks and buses. More promising still, the minivan – proven roadworthy after more than 1,300 miles of testing – will lead not only to an upgrade of Taiwan’s automobile electronics industry but to groundbreaking smart transportation service models.
Imagine, for example, hopping a driverless shuttle to the hottest attractions in Hsinchu City, Taiwan such as Big City, Hsinchu Cheng Huang Temple, 19 Hectares Grassland, 17KM Coastline Scenic Area and Siangshan Wetland. The autonomous ride could become another transportation option sooner than you think.
“We have every intent to make available self-driving sightseeing shuttle services soon,” said Chih-Chien Lin, mayor of Hsinchu City. “The services will be our first step to substantially improving the traffic flow, highlighting the unlimited applications associated with autonomous vehicles.”
Bearing the license plate number Taiwan No.0001 – the first issued for an autonomous vehicle in Taiwan – the minivan is an early but important advance in the region’s autonomous-driving technologies under a new initiative led by the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), which developed the test vehicle’s software, and the Hsinchu City government. SEMI president and CEO Ajit Manocha joined Hsinchu City mayor Chih-Chien Lin and ITRI vice president Pei-Zen Chang to promote the initiative at SEMICON Taiwan 2019 in the run-up to its launch during an October 22nd press conference in Hsinchu City.
Taiwan luminaries attending the press conference were (L-R in photo below) Terry Tsao, SEMI Chief Marketing Officer and SEMI Taiwan President; Jwu-Sheng Hu, Vice President and General Director, ITRI Mechanical and Mechatronics Systems Research Laboratories; Der-Sheng Lin, Deputy Director General, MOEA Department of Industrial Technology; Chih-Chien Lin, Mayor of Hsinchu City; Pei-Zen Chang, Vice President, ITRI.
ITRI and Hsinchu City government officials kick off the next phase of Taiwan’s smart transportation initiative in an October press conference near Nanliao Fishing Harbor, Hsinchu City.
“This milestone in self-driving technology is a shining example of public-private partnerships in action to advance smart mobility and dovetails with SEMI's work building communities consisting of the automotive and microelectronics industries, government, and academia for collaborative innovation,” said Terry Tsao, SEMI chief marketing officer and SEMI Taiwan President. “We are thrilled to have joined ITRI and the Taiwan government in promoting the extraordinary power of technology to make automobiles and cities smarter.”
Emmy Yi is a marketing specialist at SEMI Taiwan.