Germany could partner with Taiwan in smart transportation

(Image by Pixabay)

(Image by Pixabay)

Germany and Taiwan could be partners in the development of smart transportation, since both sides are tapping into the market and have many resources they could share, a German trade official said ahead of a Wednesday seminar on how smart mobility is applied in the two countries.

The new technologies and concepts of smart mobility have the potential to make urban traffic more efficient and convenient, reduce congestion, and improve air quality, said Axel Limberg, head of the German Trade Office Taipei.

Both Germany and Taiwan have been pushing for policies that encourage innovation in the field and the market outlook is good for both sides, he said.

"Therefore, there is great potential for cooperation between Taiwan and Germany to make smarter mobility a reality," said Limberg.

According to the trade office, smart mobility and transportation system programs are expected to generate production value of over 8 billion euros (US$9.4 billion) for related industries in Taiwan by 2020.

Likewise, it said, the German Federal Government has provided funding of almost 5 billion euros for electric mobility since 2009 and has established a regulatory framework to benefit the development of new mobility solutions.

Among the German states that want to partner with Taiwan is North Rhine-Westphalia, home to the largest concentration of Taiwanese companies in Germany.

Liony Bauer, project manager of the state's Economic Development Agency, said Taiwan and her state are complementary in many ways with regard to smart transportation development.

While Germany is strong in the automobile industry and has been developing autonomous cars, for instance, many of the infrastructures required are not ready, Bauer said.

"Some of the technologies we already have, but there is no system, an ecosystem that connects these things," she said.

Taiwan is relatively advanced in the application of information technology, such as the Internet of Things and big data, Bauer noted.

The Easycard smartcard system used in Taiwan's public transportation system and YouBike, a public bicycle-sharing service seen in many Taiwanese cities, are both successful projects from which her state hopes to learn, she said.

In addition, Taiwan has a better ability in producing long-life batteries, which are much desired by German car makers.

On the other hand, North Rhine-Westphalia could serve as a gateway to the European market for Taiwanese companies, she went on.

The state could also offer top research and development talent, as it is home to RWTH Aachen University, one of the best technical universities in Europe and which maintains close links to industry, Bauer said.