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ITRI Teams Up with Mobiletron to Roll Out Self-Driving Buses Within 2 Years

By Korbin Lan
Published: Jan 02,2020

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and Mobiletron together held a contract-signing ceremony for a bilateral cooperation to develop Taiwan’s self-driving bus technology. At the same time, the two parties are teaming up with manufacturers in the Taiwanese electric car supply chain to carry out the independent development of self-driving vehicles in anticipation of being able to export the fruits of their labor to global markets. In accordance with this bilateral plan, ten self-driving buses will be rolled out within two years.

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At the contract signing ceremony, ITRI’s Institute for Information Industry (III) conferred their flagship perception and decision-making system for self-driving vehicles onto Mobiletron. In addition, self-ten driving bus supply chain manufacturers, including Bluestar, Moxa Ltd., Mobiletron Co. Ltd., Unex Technology, Qisda Corporation, ANEST IWATA, Alpha Networks, Inc., TECO Electric & Machinery Co. Ltd., Neousys Technology, RAC Electric Vehicles Inc., Kingwaytek Technology Co., Ltd., Forward Electronics Co., Ltd., MaxWin Technology, and WHETRON ELECTRONICS CO., LTD. together celebrated their teaming up to develop Taiwan’s self-driving vehicle supply chain.

Mobiletron Chairman and President and RAC Chairman Kim Tsai stated the Mobiletron is a company of their word, and as soon as they make the decision to invest in something, they put their full effort into the endeavor. Self-driving buses is one such endeavor. Therefore, since an early stage, together with ITRI, they have conducted R&D into the self-driving vehicles market, and during this period they have received support from the Department of Industrial Technology (DoIT). Because the outlook for self-driving vehicles is optimistic, he also became involved in the operations of “RAC” early on.

In addition, Kim Tsai is also extremely confident about the electrical vehicle system which they have completed, and he personally guarantees that it is undoubtedly a "world-class" self-driving system. Moreover, it is also a world-leading system, both in terms of electronics and smart technology.

ITRI Executive Vice President Pei-Zen Chang stated that because Taiwan actually has a more complicated driving environment than the international norm (with numerous motorcycles), foreign systems are almost unusable in Taiwan. Consequently, this is Taiwan’s advantage in autonomously developing a self-driving system, and in the future they will be able to introduce the system to Southeast Asian countries with similar road conditions to Taiwan.

ITRI also explained that through this bilateral cooperation, ten self-driving buses will be manufactured, including large buses, medium-sized buses, and low chassis mid-sized buses which are expected to be completed in succession within two years. The first self-driving bus is set to be launched next year.

According to ITRI, the self-driving bus on display today is equipped with nine lenses, five lidars, and one millimeter wave radar, and the technology which combines these sensors has the capacity to visualize the environment outside vehicles and react to contingencies within twenty meters. Furthermore, this information management platform is capable of not only managing basic electronic information for vehicles but also displaying sensors and control signals in real time. It is categorized as a Level 3 self-driving system, which allows drivers to perform hands free driving.

(TR/ Phil Sweeney)

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