Taipei-Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and Mobiletron Electronics announced an agreement Friday to produce 10 self-driving electric buses by the end of 2021, with trial production of the first vehicle expected as early as the first quarter of 2020.
According to the ITRI, the partnership will bring together a total of 14 domestic manufacturers of automotive electronics, software and hardware.
At a joint press conference, Lo Ta-sheng (???), director- general of the Department of Industrial Technology under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), said his department will push for the establishment of legal parameters governing the testing of self- driving vehicles on public roads.
At the same time, the parties involved will jointly pursue research on the development of self-driving buses, as well as freight transport vehicles, Lo said.
The agreement's main commercial partner, Mobiletron Electronics, has committed an initial investment of NT$160 million (US$5.3 million).
Mobiletron Chairman Tsai Yu-ching (???) said his company expects to be mass-producing level-3 self-driving buses by the end of 2021.
In the autonomous vehicle industry, "level 3" is used to denote vehicles in which the driver can safely take his or her eyes off the road, "level 2" refers to hands-free driving, and "level 1" refers to more basic technologies such as cruise control and automatic parking.
Along with another major partner in the project -- RAC Electric Vehicles -- Mobiletron will work with ITRI to integrate Taiwanese energy storage, AI, telecommunication, auto parts and other technologies into the electric vehicle platform, Tsai said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel