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Sep 22, 2017
Showcasing Smart Applications: A New Look for Technology
By Huang Nuan-yun/TIER
To help the Taipei City Government run its smart city and the IoT related applications in the experimental field, the Taipei City Government launched the “Taipei Smart City Industrial Field Pilot Program”.After receiving the proposals submitted by private sector, the Taipei Smart City PMO will conduct discussions on the content of proposal based on innovation, feasibility, public welfare, and legality. It will conduct overall assessment for proposals deemed feasible to further confirm situational plan with the applicants. For example, the planning may include the demonstration points in Neihu district such as the smart street light applications, Taipei Railway Station Project, Driverless Bus Experimental Project. It hopes that the proposal, matching system, and system for domain experiment can help the private sector to run through the Proof of Concept (POC) for smart city related applications in the Taipei City so that the concept can serve as a means of following up on the development of operational model and output of international experience paradigm.
About the Author:Huang Nuan-yun
Editor of Taipeiecon

Showcasing Smart Applications: A New Look for Technology

The goal of the Taipei City Government’s “New Smart City Economy” policy is to facilitate the development of information communication technology, or ICT applications to boost Taipei’s competitiveness and strengthen the integration of its information resources. To implement the plan, the government is using a public-private partnership model that will allow cross-industry and cross-disciplinary collaboration among government agencies, private enterprise, research institutes, and citizens, and is working to establish an innovation center to provide Taipei with smart solutions and eventually paves the way for a model smart city development plan that will change the way the citizens of Taipei live, work, and play.

A Nation`s First: Citizens Propose Ideas for the Taipei Smart City Industrial Field Pilot Program

The Taipei city government has launched the Taipei Smart City Industrial Field Pilot Program to provide support for the field experimental pilot programs of smart city and other relevant IoT applications. The program is overseen by the Taipei Smart City Project Management Office (PMO). The office welcomes proposals, which it first evaluates for innovation, feasibility, public welfare, and legality. It will conduct overall assessment for proposals deemed feasible to further confirm situational plan with the applicants. Proposal requirements include the following:

  • Manufacturers Qualifications: Manufacturers must be legally established or registered companies, legal persons, institutes, groups as well as domestic public and private tertiary institutions or research institutions, etc.
  • Criteria: Proposals should apply to projects involving the use of ICT to address, improve or enhance the safety, quality or effectiveness of living environment in the Taipei area. Applications include – but are not limited to – smart traffic, transportation, smart energy, smart buildings, space analysis, electronic government, smart disaster prevention, environmental monitoring, smart care, and other public welfare related applications.

Neihu District as Demonstration Point: Smart Street Light Applications

Smart street lighting is a necessary element in the development of smart city infrastructure. The Department of Information Technology of the Taipei City Government and the Taipei Smart City (PMO) assessed a field plan of Neihu District and selected an IPS as a system integrator, integrate the lighting system of Light Space Incorporation and information system mechanism of Chunghwa System Integration to build the “single scalable cloud infrastructure platform”. Gangqian Road and Zhouzi Street were selected to run field test on the applications. The lighting in Gangqian Road was designed to enhance the ambience of the area and provide a smart traffic applications, whereas Zhouzi Street was used to test smart park related application services.

Service providers used simple interfaces to control engine room on cloud to remote control the street light to do sensing such as the temperature, humidity, environment monitoring like CO2 and PM2.5, traffic detection, character tracking, electronic fence, prohibit area control, and analysis and search.. Utilizing information from Google Map, the application is capable of tracking street lighting and sending back reports of unusual vibrations or noises for specific areas.. If an unusual incident occurs, the camera embedded in the street light connects to the nearest police station and sends monitor images instantly in order to ensure the safety of individuals in the area. In addition, smart street lighting also monitors on-street parking, people can find the parking space nearby through their phone or computer.

Smart lighting has become a major feature of smart city development. The Taipei City government will use the results the Neihu district demonstration point project to make adjustments and modifications. Taipei plans to switch all street lights on general roadways over to LED lighting by June, 2018. By then, street lighting will no longer be just lights, but instead will act as a multi-functional device that integrates big data and is capable of reporting back malfunctions and being controlled remotely, enabling further applications and development.

Smart Taipei Railway Station Project

Taipei Railway Station is the biggest and busiest train station in Taiwan. The underground station serves as a junction point for six different rail lines (Taiwan Railways, Taiwan High Speed Rail, Taoyuan Airport MRT, and Taipei Metro’s Bannan, Tamsui, and Songshan Lines). More than half a million people use the station every day, making it a major transportation hub in Taipei. To enhance the sign system and aid pedestrian traffic flow, and to integrate disaster prevention concepts into the cityscape, the Taipei City Government has proposed establishing a “Smart Taipei Railway Station Project” in specified areas of the station. By so doing, the government hopes to create a station that provides satisfaction, convenience, and security to the citizens of Taipei.

Askey Computer Corporation, a subsidiary of ASUS Computers, won the open tender for the Smart Taipei Railway Station Project. The professional team responsible for the project will design, construct, and operate both the software and hardware for the intelligent system. The scope of the project encompasses a pedestrian guide with interactive kiosks, an indoor navigation app for mobile devices, tourism information, a fire safety monitoring system and a smart parking system.The operation involves two parking lots on Civic Boulevard (Tacheng), public service advertisements displayed on electronic billboards, and push notifications for business Apps. The project is estimated to be completed by November, 2017.

  • Pedestrian sign guide system: Kiosks will be set up at junctions of different rail services to make it easier for travelers to find their way around.
  • Indoor navigation App: An interior guide service system will be set up within Taipei Railway Station and the underpasses surrounding the station for the convenience of travelers, allowing them to reach their destinations more efficiently.
  • Tourism and transportation information: Advertising boards, light boxes, direction maps, and bus stops around Taipei Railway Station will provide instant and interactive ways for travelers to access advertising, promotions, digital tourist and traffic content etc.
  • Fire safety monitoring: Safety and disaster prevention systems will be integrated to instantly inform travelers, emergency responders, and the emergency operations center of relevant information, guide travelers along evacuation routes, providing timely emergency relief.
  • Smart Parking: A smart parking management system will be implemented with license plate recognition for entry and exit, a parking vacancy detection system, and a smart car search function, so that travelers can easily look for parking spaces or find their cars.

The Smart Taipei Railway Station Project is a collaborative effort of the Taipei City Government, Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation, Taiwan Railways Administration, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation, Taoyuan Metro Corporation, Askey Computer Corporation and other public and private sector. Its goal is to provide a more friendly and intelligent station to travelers and the public. With creative ideas from private sector and sites for field testing and information provided by the public sector, the project initiators hope to transform Taipei into a travelers-friendly city.

The Driverless Bus Experimental Project Begins Field Tests

Smart Transportation is one of the most important focus areas for the Smart City initiative. The Taipei City Government is committed to adopting new technologies to solve new urban problems, so the launch of the “Driveless Bus Program” marked a milestone in Taipei's smart city development scheme. In the future, the city hopes to integrate autonomous vehicle technology into the public transportation infrastructure.

The Taipei City Government launched the “Driverless bus Experimental Project ”in early August. The experimental project was a collaboration between the Taipei Smart City PMO and 7Starlake Co., the provider of the driverless bus. The implementation of the project also involves effort by Land Administration Department (providing accurate GPS information), Transportation Department (arranging the field test), and TCPD Traffic Division (carrying out traffic control). Together, they made Taipei the first place in the world to field test exclusive bus lane for a driverless bus.

The project was conducted using the EZ10 driverless bus, which is equipped with six LIDAR sensors, allowing the vehicle to detect distance using its laser system, thereby avoiding impact. During the test runs, the speed will be limited to 20 km/h or less, and the vehicle will stop when it encounters obstacles. The test run took place on a two-way exclusive bus lane that was temporarily closed to traffic, and each bus also had dedicated personnel responsible for safety and carrying out any necessary emergency contingency plans. The purpose of the three major test items—"System Verification", "Infrastructure Integration", and "Public Acceptance"—was to field test the service and collect information for follow-up research and planning. In the future, the city government plans to introduce driverless bus supplement metro buses and science park shuttles, which will ultimately result in changes to the regulations governing responsibility for accidents and other applicable regulations.

The driverless bus
The driverless bus
The Driverless Bus Experimental Project
The Driverless Bus Experimental Project

The Taipei Smart City Industrial Field Pilot Program is the nation`s first smart city pilot program. The Taipei City Government will be opened up smart city application-related proof of concept (POC) to private sector through creative proposals, match-making, and field evidence mechanisms in Taipei City. It is hoped that this operational model will be adopted in the furthering operation models and example experiences for the international community.

For more information, please see https://smartcity.taipei/