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Taiwan companies take smart transportation to a new level

Taiwan companies take smart transportation to a new level
Transportation is getting smarter each day as operators use advanced technologies, such as IoT, 5G and AI, to address issues in various transportation-related scenarios. In this regard, Taiwan companies have much to offer.
Needless to say, transportation is getting smarter each day as operators use advanced technologies, such as IoT, 5G and AI, to address issues in various transportation-related scenarios. In this regard, Taiwan companies have much to offer.
Smart transportation is becoming more widespread as cities and municipalities endeavor to make themselves more livable and pollution-free. And market growth is expected to continue. According to MarketsandMarkets, the global smart transportation market size is expected to grow from US$94.5 billion in 2020 to $156.5 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6 percent. To meet stronger demand for smart transportation, Taiwan manufacturers have rolled out related products and solutions, many of which were on display at Secutech at the end of April. Below we look at some of them.

On-demand bus service

Taiwan manufacturer Askey leveraged its capability in networking equipment to roll out various Internet of Vehicle solutions, one of which had to do with on-demand bus service whereby buses are dispatched based on demand at the time. The project is already running on a trial basis in the southern Taiwan city of Tainan.
“There’s an onboard unit on the bus. It interacts with the roadside unit within the bus stop sign via C-V2X. There is also a camera at the bus stop capturing the number of people waiting. All this data will be communicated to the bus driver who can then drive the bus to the stop once a preset threshold has been crossed,” said Alex Chou, Special Assistant at Askey.
This is a drastic change from the current supply-side model whereby buses are dispatched at regular intervals. According to Chou, on-demand service has certain benefits.
“This is especially beneficial during off-peak hours or in remote areas, where a bus is dispatched every 30 minutes only to see no one is taking it; it takes NT$8,000 to dispatch a bus. On-demand, on the other hand, provides service only when the demand is there. This can further save energy and cost as well as reduce carbon emissions,” Chou said.
Smart transportation solutions can also benefit logistics operators, for whom keeping track of vehicles and drivers is of utmost importance. Fuho Technology, known for its Vacron brand, has solutions in this regard.
“Our logistics solution is consisted of car cameras and mobile DVRs enabled with AI, which can detect traffic violations such as crossing solid lines or tailgating. Certain behavior exhibited by the driver, for example smoking and drinking, can also be detected and alerted to the command center. If the driver exhibits signs of fatigue, it will also be alerted to the command center, where staff can call the driver and ask him to take a rest,” said Ivy Chen of Overseas Sales at Fuho Technology. He added the solution is deployed by commercial fleets and roadside rescue fleets abroad.

From road transport to rail

Rail security and safety are also of great importance to operators. According to the US Department of Transportation, there are about 5,800 train-car crashes each year in the United States, most of which occur at railroad crossings, and these accidents cause 600 deaths and 2,300 injuries. To prevent further tragedies and make rail safe, operators turn to AI, IoT and other smart transportation technologies. Hipower has solutions in this regard. Its AI can detect activities/events that endanger rail safety.
“Our AI can detect vehicles – small cars or large vehicles – stopping at a crossing. Rules can be set so that when the vehicle stops for longer than a period of time, an alert will be issued. We can also detect abnormal intrusion into the rail, or foreign objects on the rail, for example tires, boxes, animals, so on and so forth,” said Roger Hung, CEO of Hipower. “Indoor applications are also possible, for example detecting the number of people in the rail station or abnormal activities on platforms.” The solution is already deployed in projects in Taiwan, U.S., China and Southeast Asia.

Rail maintenance also plays a key role in rail safety. AI can help in this regard, as demonstrated by Moxa’s solution whereby a camera on a moving train “inspects” the track underneath it.
“Before, rail operators rely on manual workers to walk on the rail track to see if there are any problems, for example loosening rail fasteners, that can cause safety issues. With our visual-based AI solution, the train does the inspection for us, by way of a camera which captures the video of the track as the train travels along. The video is then transmitted to an onboard industrial PC to be analyzed by AI,” said Ray Juang, Project Lead with Taiwan Sales Department at Moxa. “Each time a train travels on the rail the camera does a scan. If a trains detects looseness of fasteners at a particular section, we know there is a problem, and the operator can dispatch someone to inspect it further. This is preventive maintenance at its best.”

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