Taipei Times: First license plate issued for driverless vehicle trial

The government has issued the first vehicle license plate to be used in autonomous vehicle trials since it began to enforce the Act for Uncrewed Vehicle Technology Innovations and Experiments (無人載具科技創新實驗條例) in October last year, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said yesterday.

Earlier this month, Kinwaytek Technology Co, a subsidiary of Chunghwa Telecom Co, received the nation’s first license plate for autonomous vehicle trials.

Lin and several other government officials were yesterday invited to visit the company’s testing ground for autonomous vehicles at Taoyuan’s Hutoushan Innovation Hub (虎頭山創新園區).

The Hutoushan Innovation Hub, which has settings to simulate a railroad crossing, an intersection and a roundabout, has also become a testing venue for other technologies, such as obstacle-avoiding robots, the Taoyuan Department of Economic Development said.

Using remote control, researchers can have a robot imitate a human walking, the department said, adding that results from the experiments help to improve driverless vehicles’ ability to avoid obstacles.

The office spaces included in the hub’s Phase 1 development plan are occupied, it said.

Taiwan Business Bank, the Small and Medium Enterprise Credit Guarantee Fund of Taiwan, and the Taiwan Small and Medium Enterprise Foundation have a joint office inside the hub to help start-ups secure bank loans, it added.

The Taoyuan City Government is working with Chunghwa Telecom on the hub’s phase 2 development plan, which is to include testing grounds for 5G systems, the department said.

A 5G system could be used in the construction of a smart traffic light, which could transmit signals to autonomous vehicles, telling them that the traffic light is turning red so that they can gradually come to a stop, it said.

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