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Taipei to operate autonomous shuttle in bus lanes

Taipei City Government and start-up Turing Drive are working together to validate autonomous driving technologies in the Taiwan capital.

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The 4m shuttle from Turing Drive which has capacity for nine passengers
The 4m shuttle from Turing Drive which has capacity for nine passengers

Taipei City Government and autonomous driving start-up Turing Drive will operate a regular autonomous driving shuttle service on dedicated bus lanes during off-peak hours from May 2020.

 

It is part of a plan to validate autonomous driving technologies in the Taiwan capital city and look into the future possibilities of autonomous shuttles being a new public transport solution.

 

Three-stage plan

 

Last year, the city signed a memorandum of understanding with Turing Drive that proposed a three-phase plan:

  • Phase 1: infrastructure preparation by April, including high-definition maps, roadside units enabling vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, electric charging stations and sign boards
  • Phase 2: testing operation of the service from May, during which the autonomous vehicle system will familiarise itself with all possible scenarios
  • Phase 3: if successful, passenger services from September onwards.

The shuttle service will circle back-and-forth around the dedicated bus lanes on Xinyi Road, from Zhongshan S Road intersection to Keelung Road intersection, totalling 12.3 km in length.

 

During the operation, three electric autonomous driving shuttles will be deployed, including a 4m shuttle with capacity for nine passengers and a 6m shuttle that takes up to 34 passengers. In the early stages, the maximum speed is set at 15 km/h. The service operates between 00:30 and 02:30 am.

 

It is part of a plan to validate autonomous driving technologies in the city and look into the future possibilities of autonomous shuttles being a new public transport solution.

 

The maximum speed and operating hours may increase afterwards if certain conditions are met. Safety drivers will take over at both ends as the shuttles make turns on open roads.

 

Turing Drive is a homegrown Taiwanese start-up. Allied with Tron Energy Corporation, Trillion, ThinkTron, International Integrated Systems (IISI), and Metropolitan Transport Corporation, Turing Drive and the team produce 100 per cent of the software and 70 per cent hardware in Taiwan.

 

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