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Smart transportation: What Taiwan does will amaze you

Smart transportation: What Taiwan does will amaze you
Smart transportation is a key element in smart cities. Many Asian nations lead in smart transportation technology and innovation. This article examines what Taiwan has achieved in this regard.
Smart transportation is a key element in smart cities. Many Asian nations lead in smart transportation technology and innovation. This article examines what Taiwan has achieved in this regard.
 
Smart transportation is all about IoT and data, which can help city transportation official with better planning, management and enforcement. Increasingly, AI is also used in combination with IoT to address various transportation issues. In this regard, Taiwan has rolled out many solutions, which were on display at the Smart City Summit and Expo held in Taipei in March.
 

Intersection and light rail monitoring

 
Taiwan has light rail networks in several cities. That said, passenger and pedestrian safety is of utmost importance. Any approaching vehicles/pedestrians to the rail, or obstacles on the tracks, should be immediately informed to the train driver and the monitoring center.
 
In this regard, Far EasTone Communications (FET) has light rail monitoring solutions using C-V2X and 5G cellular technologies. When a vehicle appears to be approaching light rail tracks when it’s not supposed to, it will be detected via radar and CCTV, and the information will be transmitted immediately and directly to the onboard unit of the train coming up via C-V2X. This way, accidents and tragedies can be better prevented. Meanwhile, various light rail data is constantly transmitted via 5G to the operation center, where such data can be analyzed for future planning and management. Already, the solution is deployed in the southern Taiwan city of Kaohsiung.
 
FET also has a solution using AI to better monitor roads and enforce traffic-related rules. Illegal left turns and crossing of double white lines can be detected by way of AI-enabled video surveillance. Law enforcement can then issue fines accordingly. The solution is already deployed in New Taipei City.
 

MRT monitoring by way of private 5G network

 
Private 5G networks, set up by individual end user organizations, can also play a role in intelligent transportation. In this regard, Pegatron has a private 5G network solution consisted of receiving units as well as central unit/distribution unit servers. Mass rapid transit operators, for example, can benefit from the solution by setting up a private 5G network and having in-vehicle and wayside video transmitted to the monitoring center via the network, which allows better stability, bandwidth and security than a public one. The solution is in proof-of-concept stage and can be applied to industries other than transportation.
 
“Smart factories are a potential target, as some semiconductor foundries, for example, need to keep really sensitive data confidential, so they’d prefer a 5G private network,” said Johnny Lee, Deputy Director for Business Development at Pegatron.
 

Smart parking

 
Parking is one of the biggest headaches facing cities. Managing parking spaces and enforcing related rules has always been a major challenge. Luckily, now, IoT and data can combine to form smart parking solutions, which can be beneficial for cities.
 
In this regard, Acer ITS, a subsidiary of the global computer giant, has roadside parking kiosks. Each kiosk is equipped with a camera and microwave sensor to detect vehicles, whose plate numbers and entry/exit times are recorded. The driver can pay directly at the kiosk. If not, the driver will receive a parking bill at a later time. The smart parking kiosks are already deployed in several cities in Taiwan, including Taipei, New Taipei, Tainan and Kaohsiung.
 
“For city residents, this solution is a source of pride; in Tainan alone the solution has won several awards. For city administrators, the solution helps increase turnover rate as well as parking revenue,” said Scott Chow, Senior Technical Director at Acer ITS. “This is really a win-win situation.”
 
Acer ITS has taken this a step further. It has added an electric vehicle charger to each kiosk. This way, an EV can park and charge at the same time. “If a non-EV is parked at the slot, it will be recognized and charged at a higher rate,” Chow said.
 


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