Talent Cultivation and Smart Car Trend Development Forum
The event was organised by the ECCT Low Carbon Initiative (LCI), together with the European Union Centre in Taiwan (EUTW) and TÜV Rheinland, to discuss how to nurture young talent for the evolving mobility industry as well as the latest market trends and technologies such as the Internet of Vehicles (IOV) and smart mobility. The event began with opening remarks by Kuan Chung-ming, President of National Taiwan University, and ECCT Chairman, Giuseppe Izzo. This was followed by a signing ceremony of an MOU between the ECCT and NTU to develop a student internship and employment programme for graduates. This main programme consisted of two sessions of presentations, followed by panel discussions. The first (morning) session was a CEO roundtable on the subject of talent innovation and cultivation. The afternoon session featured presentations on smart mobility trends by distinguished experts from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), ABB, Bosch, Siemens, Taiwan Turing, ITS Taiwan and NAR Labs.
In his opening remarks ECCT Chairman Giuseppe Izzo said that the field of mobility is a good example of an industry that is changing rapidly to meet the need for greater efficiency, connectivity and autonomous driving and that it is also a good example of how rapid advances in technology require a flexible approach to education and developing talent, which is especially important given that Taiwan is facing talent shortages in many areas. He went on to say that we all need to get used to a future where lifelong learning will be the norm and that academia and business need to cooperate much more closely to ensure that education and training is more closely aligned with industry needs. He went to say that linking NTU with ECCT members under the student internship and employment programme for graduates would help young people find good work opportunities and help member companies to find talent, which is a win-win for the university, ECCT member companies and young talent.
In his remarks, Dr Kuan reiterated sentiments expressed by Chairman Izzo on the importance of cooperation between academia and industry to cultivate talent. He went on to talk about a number of academic and student collaboration initiatives that the NTU is engaged in with universities around the world, including in Europe, Japan and the United States. He also spoke about the need for flexibility in academic programmes. In order to give students flexibility and to broaden their horizons, NTU allows students to change majors, do double majors or minor in subjects that interest them, even if they are totally unrelated to their majors. To encourage innovation, the university also helps students with innovative ideas get funding and resources to carry out pilot projects to test out their ideas.
CEO roundtable on talent innovation and cultivation
During the morning session, speakers gave insights on talent cultivation as well as smart mobility trends.
In his speech, Hsu Yu-chin, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology, gave an overview of the MOST's role in supporting scientific research and development, industrial collaboration and the management of Taiwan’s science parks. He remarked that ICT industry growth is now being spurred by the rise of the internet of things (IOT) and artificial intelligence (AI).
In his speech Giuseppe Izzo, in his capacity as Managing Director, Taiwan, & Vice President, Asia Pacific Region of STMicroelectronics, spoke about mobility trends. He made the point that the so-called gig economy is based on platforms where data is the “new oil”. In developing cars, there is great potential for collaboration and synergy between European and Taiwanese companies given Taiwanese high-tech expertise and European expertise in car design and manufacturing.
On the subject of electric vehicles, he said that there were more questions than answers. For example, range anxiety has to be overcome for consumers to accept EVs. Another issue is the speed of fast-charging of electric vehicles and the fact that fast-charging requires a huge amount of power. According to Izzo, connectivity will happen faster than electrification. He cited an estimate that 16% of new vehicles in the EU will be EVs by 2025 but 75% of vehicles will be connected by then.
He went on to discuss the subject of autonomous driving. He began by citing the view of Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla. Musk has challenged the reliance by rival developers on Lidar and maps for autonomous driving and instead said that they will be beaten by AI. According to Musk, new Tesla cars already have sufficient sensors and computers to drive themselves, which is cheaper, safer and more effective than relying on Lidar and maps.
According to Izzo, Lidar sensors, which use lasers to send out pulses of light and measure the time it takes for a reflection to come back, provide no more information than vision while the huge amount of data required for high-definition maps to help driverless cars understand their surroundings, make them only effective in limited areas. Moreover, maps have to be updated whenever there are route changes.
In his presentation Max Lyou, Managing Director of TÜV Rheinland Taiwan, introduced his company and its services, globally, regionally and in Taiwan.
In his presentation, HK Wang, CEO of Siemens Mobility Taiwan Branch, introduced some innovative new mobility solutions. This included a solution for hybrid diesel-electric trucks that can be charged while driving on highways using movable pantographs connected to overhead electric cables. He noted that, besides its engineering and other expertise, Siemens is now one of the world’s top 10 software companies.
In her presentation, Sabrina Schmidt-Koschella, Deputy Director of the German Institute in Taiwan, noted that Germany's automotive industry, either directly or indirectly, accounts for 20% of Germany’s economy and that the government is dedicated to supporting the drive towards zero emissions, digitalisation, connected and autonomous driving solutions for the transport sector. It is doing so by supporting cross-industry research and incentive programmes. To deal with ethical issues, the government has set up a commission to draft ethical guidelines. It is also working with international bodies to develop standards for new technologies and solutions.
Morning Q&A session
The morning Q&A session featured all of the morning's speakers as panellists and was moderated by Max Lyou, Managing Director of TÜV Rheinland Taiwan. During the session panellists spoke about the need for cross-industry research and ethics training for all university students in engineering and related programmes. They also stressed the need for more debates in society about the implications of new technologies in order to reach consensus on how they should be used.
Session on smart mobility trends and developments
The afternoon session featured presentations and a panel discussion on smart mobility trends.
Jan Hollmann, Managing Director of Bosch Taiwan gave a presentation on the subject of "Shaping the future of mobility". He noted that mobility accounts for more than half of his company’s revenue and two thirds of the company’s R&D budget is devoted to developing mobility technology and solutions. The company vision for mobility is to create emission free, accident free and stress free mobility. Of the trends towards emission free, connected and autonomous mobility, connectivity is the most tangible trend. According to Hollman, 50% of Bosch's products are already IP-enabled.
It will take a few more years to work out the ethical and legal issues before autonomous driving can really take off. Bosch has some 4,000 engineers working on autonomous driving. The company has already developed an autonomous drive and park solution, whereby a driver can exit the car, click a button, and send the car to a designated parking spot and, call the car back in the same way. The company is also working with Daimler on an autonomous vehicle ride-hailing service in California. Hollmann believes that electrification of the vehicle fleet will take several decades given high costs, production constraints and the need for extra electricity grid capacity for charging.
Bin Zhoa, General Manager of TÜV Rheinland Greater China gave a presentation on the subject of “ISO 26262, ASPICE integration and future development”. He introduced his company’s services related to mobility.
David Shen, CEO of Taiwan Turing, gave a presentation on the subject of “Autonomous driving experience and opportunities in Asia-Pacific”. He introduced his company’s autonomous mini-buses that have been running in several sites in Taiwan.
Juang Jyh-chiang, Consultant for NAR Labs, gave a presentation on the topic “Towards autonomous driving: Status, challenges and opportunities in Taiwan”.
Kumail Rashid, Sales Manager for ABB Taiwan, gave a presentation on the topic "eMobility, infrastructure and digitalisation". The speaker introduced his company’s EV charging infrastructure technology, which it has been developing since 2010 for passenger vehicles, buses and trucks. One of the solutions he highlighted was what is called “opportunity charging”, whereby a series of fast-charging stations is set up along bus routes which allow buses to recharge batteries for short periods (3-6 minutes) along their routes. The weight and energy needs of the buses are reduced because batteries do not need to be so large and because pantographs are located on the charging stations (not the buses).
ABB offers a variety of charging station options from low voltage AC chargers for home or office use where cars can be left to charge overnight, to medium and fast DC-chargers for highway stops.
Final Q&A session
The afternoon Q&A session featured all of the afternoon’s speakers as panellists and was moderated by SK Jason Chang, Professor & Vice President of ITS Taiwan. The moderator reported that, as of a week prior to the forum, 474 electric buses were deployed in Taiwan, behind the government’s roadmap schedule to convert all bus routes in Taiwan to e-buses by 2030.