Taipei autonomous bus tests are just the start

HIGH STAKES:Some stakeholders believe Taiwan could function as an equipment manufacturer, while others work to realize the dream of locally developed vehicles

Taipei Times
Date: Aug 28, 2017
By: Lee Hsin-Yin / Staff writer, with CNA

It may be 3am, but 55-year-old Ou Hsiu-chu (歐秀珠), warden of Zhuan Borough (住安)

A driverless bus travels along Taipei’s Xinyi Road in the small hours of Aug. 1 during a trial run of the nascent technology. Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

in Taipei’s Daan District (大安), is wide awake, scribbling notes and taking photographs of an orange-and-white vehicle the size of a minivan easing its way down an exclusive bus lane on Xinyi Road in Taipei.

She is monitoring the first tests of a driverless bus by Taipei authorities in her borough. The French-made vehicle only carries up to 12 passengers and operates at a tortoise-like 10kph, and Ou is not totally sold.

“I am not sure about driverless buses for now because I have not seen enough evidence that shows they are safe under less controlled circumstances,” Ou said after taking a five-minute test ride at the city’s invitation.

However, the tests did demonstrate the vehicle’s ability to accurately detect environmental conditions on a Taipei street — a breakthrough in Taiwan’s push for smart vehicle development.    [FULL  STORY]

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