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2015 EU-Taiwan Smart Mobility Conference

EU-Taiwan Smart Mobility Conference

On 9 September 2015 the second annual Smart Mobility Conference was jointly hosted by the ECCT Low Carbon Initiative (LCI) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communication's (MoTC) Institute of Transportation (IOT). The full-day event, which was attended by 160 guests from government, industry and non-governmental organisations, featured opening remarks by ECCT Chairman Bernd Barkey and MoTC Minister Chen Jian-Yu and two sessions of presentations by various members of the ECCT's LCI and government agencies on current transportation developments and opportunities in Taiwan.The main focus of the event was light rail, smart cars and traffic communication. Both sessions were punctuated by comments and insights from the moderators and concluded with lively and interactive panel discussions featuring all of the speakers. After the conference a dinner was held which was attended by MoTC Deputy Minister Tseng Dar-jen, guest speakers from the conference and LCI members.

Guests of honour
Chen Jian-yu, Minister, MoTC
Bernd Barkey, Chairman, ECCT

Chen Mau-nan, Deputy Director-General, IOT
Raoul Kubitschek, Director, LCI


  • Giuseppe Izzo, General Manager, STMicroelectronics Taiwan
  • Dr Chou Ja-ching, IOT, MoTC
  • Rainer Becker, General Manager, car2go
  • Liu Luming, Regional President, Bosch Engineering China
  • Andy Gill, Global Sales & Business Manager, Siemens ITS
  • Dr Chou Yun-hui, Director-General, Taiwan Railways Administration, MoTC
  • Shih Mei-mei, Chief Engineer, Mass Rapid Transit Bureau, Kaohsiung City Government
  • Ho Hsiang-lin, Chief Engineer, Department of Rapid Transit systems, New Taipei City Government (Xinbei)
  • Chris Ho, General Manager, Rail, Greater China Region, TUV Rheinland
  • Steve Hsu, Manager, Business Development, ABB
  • Fabrice Ancey, Key Account Manager, THALES Taiwan

Opening remarks
In his opening remarks Minister Chen said that a convenient, safe, seamless and low carbon transport environment needs intelligent public transport that people are willing to use. The government aims to enhance long and middle-distance transport along the east coast and connect all cities with low carbon transport as well as support more efficient public transport within cities. Light rail is an excellent solution because it is clean, green and quiet. Besides infrastructure, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and big data are important components in promoting transport of the future. The government is conducting several green transport pilot programmes and working with the EU in the field of connected vehicles. Thanks to the excellent ongoing cooperation and success of the annual smart mobility conference, Minister Chen said that he looked forward to arranging the third, fourth and successive conferences on this topic and thereby continue to share information and promote future development.

In his opening remarks ECCT Chairman Bernd Barkey said that making Taiwan's transportation sector greener and smarter is a goal the ECCT shares with the Taiwan government and that, given the transportation sector's high emissions, the sector will have to play a major role in cutting Taiwan's overall emissions. There are many ways to do this, starting with making vehicles more fuel efficient and building the infrastructure needed to transition to electric mobility. Besides being green, vehicles need to be equipped with smart connected systems so that they can "talk" to one another to improve safety and reduce travel times. In addition, a truly smart transportation system links all forms of transport so that people and goods can use any form of transport interchangeably and seamlessly. Furthermore, we have only just begun to take advantage of the power of the mobile internet of things to change the way we manage the transportation of goods and people. Harnessing this potential would make travel more efficient, convenient, comfortable and sustainable. Besides the technology, we need practical business models that encourage the use and roll-out of smart green transport solutions. Barkey concluded that the good news is that technologies and solutions are already available and Taiwan is ideally positioned to become a global leader in smart mobility solutions.

Morning session
Moderator: Chen Mau-nan, Deputy Director-General, IOT

Topic: Internet of cars within the internet of everything
Speaker: Giuseppe Izzo, General Manager STMicroelectronics Taiwan
ST has three main domains of growth: Smart driving, smart environments and smart things. Smart cities are defining car technologies of the future thanks to ubiquitous computing, that fact that almost everything can be connected and societal changes (societies are demanding better traffic management and living conditions and safer driving).

Smart driving entails improving driving efficiency (map-assisted guidance, geo-localization and, eventually, autonomous cars); live data and infotainment (satellite radio and cloud connectivity); societal and behavioral changes (increased safety and comfort); energy saving (CO2 reduction and mobility improvement); new services (insurance and assistance, live monitoring maintenance and service updates.

The connected car is a technology hub that will revolutionise the world of transport. To be smart will require a lot of sensors (300-400 sensors including, gyroscopes, motion sensors, radar and environmental sensors). Assembling a smart car is like assembling a puzzle of applications. The car of the future has to combine all functions: telematics, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and vehicle to vehicle (v2v) and vehicle to cloud and vehicle to infrastructure (v2i). There will first be a convergence of ADAS with intelligent mapping – an intermediate step towards intelligent cars. The next step is completely autonomous cars.

Izzo concluded that the car is an internet of things system which interacts continuously with the environment, processes and exchanges information among its constituent parts. The car will be a node in the internet of cars, always connected with the network and other nodes receiving and making available to others information and services. The Internet of Things and the Internet of Cars, together with the technologies and applications involved, will change the way we view and use cars. This new environment presents an opportunity for Taiwan: Taiwan is ready with technology hardware but connected cars need connected systems and human beings have to be central to this. Taiwan has to progressively create ecosystems which are software-intensive. This requires expertise which Europeans can help with.

Topic: Taiwan's vehicle and transportation integration system status report
Speaker: Dr Chou Ja-ching, IOT
Dr Chou gave an overview of the latest developments in Taiwan's railways and Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS), which use information technology to improve efficiency in transport in an integrated manner. The government supports the creation of infrastructure and systems to support this development such as v2v and v2i communication. If vehicles are equipped with smart systems, they can react automatically in an emergency. For example if a car brakes suddenly, the car behind can slow down in time to prevent a collision or, when an accident occurs, data can be collected and analysed in the cloud and rebroadcast to other vehicles. This clearly has benefits to road users.

For the system to work well, standards are important. Starting in 2010, Europe and the US started to harmonise standards and now use the same frequency (5.9Ghz) for security systems.

The EU has spent many years on C-ITS programmes including the SCOOP@F programme in France, which plans to equip 3,000 vehicles and 2,000 km of streets with a wide variety of communications-
related v2v and v2i applications intended to increase travel and operational safety, while improving the quality of travel overall. The test phase of the programme started in 2014 and will be rolled out nationally this year. Another example is the Cooperative ITS Corridor, which runs from Amsterdam to Frankfurt and aims to detect traffic obstacles before they are seen and identify hazards before they become a threat. The recent case of cars being hacked in the US shows that cars need better security.

Research conducted in the US in 2012 research showed that v2i systems can reduce accidents. This has prompted discussions about making v2v systems compulsory in the US. Starting this September each US state may launch its own C-ITS programmes to improve traffic congestion and air quality.

Japan's focus is on pedestrian safety while the MoTC has started several v2i projects aimed at reducing traffic congestion, using European projects as a reference. For example, Hsinchu County has a project to install devices in cars to collect data on traffic lights, monitor congestion and notify drivers. Authorities have also set up a cloud-based platform to analyse data such as signal controls.

Topic: The future of urban mobility - Car2go
Speaker: Rainer Becker, General Manager, car2go
Given the current trends of increasing urbanization and limited space, problems like congestion and air pollution in cities are getting worse. If everyone in the city has a car the transportation system will not work. Consumption habits are changing and people are realizing that there is no need to have a car that is driven for an average of one hour a day. Owning cars will not be sustainable on the long-term. Sharing and on-demand models will replace the single-owner model.

The smartphone means that information is available anywhere and anytime. This allows the whole transport system to be interconnected. Moovel's app has a simple interface that integrates all modes of transport, works out the optimal combination for a given trip and allows the booking and purchasing of tickets.

Auto companies are concentrating on technology such as autonomous driving but the real question is how customers will use the car. For example, Uber's goal is to end car ownership in the world while Google and Apple aim to make the driving experience better.

Car2go solves urban mobility challenges by freeing space taken up by parked cars by using the same car multiple times. One car2go car can replace 12-15 cars, according to Becker. If cars are shared an average of 6-8 times a day, this will free up a lot of space.

For car sharing to be viable, it is essential for it to be convenient, simple and fun. It has to be like one's own car, available anywhere and at any time. Users also don't want to have to set a length of time for use in advance because their plans might change. They also don't want to have restrictions on where to return the car.

Car2go takes into account all these factors. It has a one-time registration process, after which is it very easy to use the system. The dedicated App finds the nearest available car. Users use a smart phone to get in, use a pin to get keys, drive anywhere and drop the car off anywhere. The beauty of the system is that there are no maintenance, refueling licencing or insurance costs. Users are charged per minute of use, the fee is calculated by the App and customers are charged automatically. Because people have to pay based on use, it makes them think about to how they travel and encourages them to be more efficient – thereby promoting "green" habits.

Car2go is now in 30 locations, 15 cities in Europe and 15 in the US. The number of cars in each location ranges from 300-1,500 cars depending on the city. Three cities have purely electric cars. EVs require more complex recharging and maintenance systems and are therefore more expensive but car2go is gaining experience. The company is now planning to launch in Chongqing in China.

Car2go works best when it is integrated with other means of transport and this requires cooperation with public transport authorities and networks. In this regard, the company often cooperates with public transport authorities to, for example, offer monthly tickets that make it easy to use multiple transport options.

Topic: The path to smart cars
Speaker: Liu Luming, Regional President, Bosch Engineering China
Liu outlined some of the trends shaping automotive industry development. By 2030, 60% of people will live in cities, which will necessitate smarter traffic and energy management. Concerns about climate change and the impact of fuel consumption will change a lot by 2020-2025. Hybrids and EVs will eventually replace internal combustion engines. Connectivity will bring convenience but automakers will be challenged by internet companies.

Automated driving will be developed step by step and Liu expects fully automated driving by 2025. We are currently in the assisted driving phase as cars are fitted with automatic emergency braking and evasive steering support. The next phase is partially automated driving. For example, traffic jam assist and remote parking assist is being introduced now while by 2018, cars will be able to locate parking and park by themselves. By 2025, cars will drive by themselves. Automated driving will affect many components. Only companies that understand systems will be viable.

Topic: Environmental traffic management using ITS
Speaker: Andy Gill, Global Sales & Business Manager, Siemens Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) 
There are both "soft" and "hard" measures to manage traffic using ITS. The soft measures include traffic management systems, adaptive traffic control, giving public transport priority, intelligent parking, electric vehicles and cooperative systems. Hard measures include congestion charging, setting up low emission zones, setting up fast lanes, introducing average speed control and bus lane or parking enforcement.

Soft measures
Environmental traffic management integrates air quality objectives into everyday traffic control by monitoring pollution all around the city. If pollution exceeds a certain level then strategic plans (decided in advance) are implemented. For example, priority is given to low emission vehicles, or, in serious cases, vehicles are prevented from entering the city.

Traffic management centres help to coordinate environmental traffic strategies and encourage modal shifts. For example, Berlin has introduced car sharing, opened traffic information systems to the public to help them choose best route or type of transport.

EU emissions standards are getting stricter with high fines for violations. Adaptive control systems can control traffic flow reduce congestion and reduce emissions. SCOOT is the world's leading adaptive traffic control system and coordinates the operation of all traffic signals in an area to improve traffic flow. In Toronto Canada SCOOT was employed and reduced travel time by 8%, stopping time by 22% and vehicle delays by 17%. Together these cut fuel use and emissions considerably. Half of traffic signals in London are under scoot control and this has delivered improved congestion by 5-10% and traffic flow by 8-20%.

There is a need to shift from private cars to public transport but public transport needs to be attractive to encourage people to switch. Light rail is a good option but safety is important and the system cannot interfere with other traffic. To ensure safety and efficiency, sophisticated systems are needed to ensure smooth and safe running. Given that parking accounts for a full 10% of car's emissions during its lifetime, intelligent parking using sensor technology to identify real-time parking space occupancy to guide drivers to the nearest spot will make better usage of existing parking bays, reduce congestion, cut pollution and enhance the experience of drivers.

Hard measures
London's congestion charge (£10 a day) has been in place for 10 years. It has succeeded in reducing congestion, increasing space for pedestrians, bicycles and buses and the money used has been used to make further improvements. The imposition of low emission zones (confined to specific vehicles) has also helped to reduce the number of heavy-duty vehicles and increase the number of hybrid and EVs.
Other countries such as Israel and some cities in the United States have established dedicated fast lanes for use of high occupancy vehicles only. According to a study, average speed control reduces speeds that users drive at, thereby improving road safety, but also journey time reliability, besides the impact on the environment (lower fuel usage) through less acceleration and braking.

Gill concluded that a lot of soft and hard measures can be adopted but a strategic approach is needed to meet the specific needs of each city.

Afternoon session
Moderator: Raoul Kubitschek, Director, LCI

Topic: Low carbon pioneer in Taiwan transportation - Taiwan railway's aspect and vision
Speaker: Dr Chou Yung-hui, Director-General, Taiwan Railways Administration
Chou gave an overview of Taiwan's railway network and operations, and its upgrade plans.
The plans include a progressive electrification of all remaining lines not yet electrified and increasing capacity from eight to 12 cars per train.

The administration is adopting green methods in all expansion and upgrade plans, including procurement of advanced equipment and design of stations, which take into account natural ventilation, extensive natural light, rainwater harvesting systems, water-use, native plant species and solar panels.

Topic: Case study of Kaohsiung's light rail
Speaker: Shih Mei-mei, Chief Engineer, Mass Rapid Transit Bureau, Kaohsiung City Government
The speaker gave an overview of Kaohsiung's light rail system. It is the first light rail system in Taiwan with 14 stations. The system has been built and is now in the testing phase and will soon be open to the public.

Topic: Tanhai light rail case study
Speaker: Ho Hsiang-lin, Chief Engineer, Department of Rapid Transit systems, New Taipei City Government (Xinbei)
Ho introduced the light rail systems to be introduced in Xinbei. The system will be similar to the system in Kaohsiung with 14 stations and cover a length of 14 kilometres. The tender process was completed at the end of 2014 and construction started at beginning of this year.

Topic: IV&V for light rail systems (case sharing)
Speaker: Chris Ho, General Manager, Rail, Greater China Region, TUV Rheinland
Ho introduced case studies of light rail systems. Compared to other forms of transport, the emissions of railways are the lowest in the EU. Railways are also the only transportation sector that has seen a decline in emissions in recent years. Road transportation accounts for the highest portion of the transportation sector's emissions (71.8%), compared to navigation (13.9%) and civil aviation (12.9%) while railways account for only 0.6% of emissions. This is because trains are mostly electric (only a few diesel trains remain) while most buses and cars on the roads today still use fossil fuel.

In addition, a number of technological advances have been made in trains. For example, regenerative braking technology allows the use of momentum when braking to generate power while carriage designs have been improved to reduce weight, resistance and energy use.

TUV Rheinland is involved in light rail systems through validation and verification of many product standards in telematics, carriage systems and construction. Independent verification and validation (IV&V) Independent Safety Assessment (ISA) includes inspection processes, auditing and testing. Verification is to ensure that every phase is done according to specifications while validation is to make sure that the project meets its goals or objectives.

Topic: Advanced electric propulsion systems for urban transport
Speaker: Steve Hsu, Manager, Business Development, ABB
Hsu introduced his company and products, which are continuously being upgraded to improve energy efficiency. ABB is involved in the Tanhai light rail system as a supplier of components. The company has played an active role in determining International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards.

Topic: Transcity signaling, communications and Operational Control Centre (OCC) solutions for light rail
Speaker: Fabrice Ancey, Key Account Manager, THALES Taiwan
Ancey spoke about the requirements and challenges for light rail systems. Electromechanical systems are important for tramway management and control of signaling, supervision, communications, security, passenger information and comfort and fare collection. Trains/trams need constant frequency, to be on time and to have onboard systems for drivers to communicate with depots. Thales provides systems designed to balance frequency, enhance traffic flow and optimize private to public transport and adapt to changing conditions.

Ancey concluded that light rail is playing an ever more important role in meeting the need for sustainable, high performance transport in today's increasingly smart cities and helping the gradual move towards cleaner and greener city environments. Taiwan's decision to re-introduce light rail is therefore extremely encouraging. However, being green and clean is not sufficient. Light rail systems must meet passenger requirements in terms of service quality while ensuring operators can optimize capacity to operate light rail networks at maximum efficiency.