Taiwan's first closed off autonomous vehicle testing facility, was officially launched in Tainan this week by Taiwan’s President Tsai.
Taiwan CAR Lab (Taiwan Connected, Autonomous, Road-test Lab), the first closed off autonomous vehicle testing Facility, was officially launched in Tainan this week by Taiwan’s President Tsai. The testing site has been implemented as a comprehensive simulation of traffic conditions in Asia.
Taiwan CAR Lab is a 1.75-hectare autonomous testing site to further test Taiwan’s research and development capabilities for driverless cars. According to Chen Liang-ge, Minister of Ministry of Science and Technology Minister, autonomous vehicles, combined with smart & low carbon technologies, will reduce carbon emission and represents an opportunity for Taiwan. Considering that Taiwan is already well-established in the global electronics industry, Chen sees great potential for autonomous vehicle development. This lab is expected to open in March.
"Taiwan CAR Lab" is the 1st testing facility designed for self-driving, vehicle and component systems in Taiwan. It’s about 1.75 hectares and is expected to open in March this year.
There has been a global effort to develop self-driving technology in recent years and with ownership expected to reach more than 20% to 30% of vehicles in 2030, researchers have been striving to make a breakthrough. With Autonomous technology rising in prominence, Minister Chen commissioned the construction of Taiwan’s first closed test field in 2017 with hopes that CAR Labs will provide a hotbed of innovation. Today we are already seeing the testing of autonomous vehicles from Acer, Chunghwa Telecom Data Communications and National Cheng Kung University. Taiwan hope that continued investment in this technology, will enable component manufactures to enter new markets, and further drive the Taiwanese technological industries.
According to Lung-Yao Chang, associate researcher of NARLabs, this test facility will act as a supervision centre and observation platform. The facility currently allows autonomous vehicles to be tested in 13 varied types of scenarios that reflect the streets of Asia, these include tunnel and GPS signal detection, lane changes and crossroads. Lung-Yao discussed additional scenarios that they hoped to incorporate in the future, such as moving soft motorcycles to reflect the challenges autonomous vehicles could face when sharing the road with unpredictable road users.
The 13 types of test scenarios
It only took 9 months to build the Taiwan CAR Lab due to the support from MOST and NARLabs. The CAR Lab has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with 6 institutions, including Acer, Chunghwa Telecom Data Communications and National Cheng Kung University, to provide services integrated with data, simulation and field tests, and a sandbox environment for innovative experiments on various autonomous driving technologies and operating models, to support autonomous vehicle R&D in Taiwan. Taiwan’s continued ambition to innovate can easily be viewed when visiting CAR Labs as construction has already begun on several more sites in the area in what will soon become the Shalun Smart Green Energy Science City (SGESC).