Exclusive interview: 'Team Taiwan' looks to international market to provide smart mobility solutions

The deputy transportation minister spoke with Taiwan News reporters about the ITS Expo, autonomous vehicles, and smart mobility applications in Taiwan

Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材), deputy minister of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications

Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材), deputy minister of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (Taiwan News photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The 2019 Smart City Summit & Expo opened in Taipei on March 26, and one of the highlights is an exhibition on mobility and transportation, the ITS Expo, organized by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC).

Following the opening ceremony, Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材), deputy MOTC minister sat down with Taiwan News and talked about the exhibition, the development of autonomous vehicles in Taiwan, and other applications of smart mobility technologies.

01. What is the main purpose for the ministry to organize the first ever ITS Expo within the annual Smart City Summit & Expo?

WANG: The ministry initiated a four-year plan in around 2016 in the hope of improving the efficiency and safety of the transportation systems in Taiwan. One way of doing it is to apply technologies in the management of those systems.

The four-year plan has yielded some good returns in the past few years. We have built infrastructure to enhance our transportation systems, and many of our teams have been recognized by international awards for their projects. We hope to demonstrate some of these achievements at the ITS Expo, so that the world will see that we make advancement every year.

As of now, the worlds’ biggest event on smart mobility is the ITS World Congress, which is hosted by different countries every year. Taiwan is surely interested in obtaining the right to host the congress. However, we think that in the meantime, we can start by arranging some activities on our own. That is how the ITS Expo was given birth, and we aim to make it one of the most important events for the annual Smart City Summit & Expo.

02. One important aspect of organizing the ITS Expo is to demonstrate, or even market, Taiwan’s development of mobility-related technologies. Is the ministry also looking for cooperation with other cities or foreign companies?

WANG: There are city officials, business representatives, and exhibitors from 45 countries taking part in the Smart City Summit & Expo in Taipei this year.

In addition to show what we have done in Taiwan in terms of tackling transportation problems, we are also seeking to establish connections with other cities or overseas companies. Our goal is to market Taiwan’s development of smart mobility as well as information and communications technology (ICT) to the world through exchanges across different industries.

03. Will there be “a national team” for Taiwan’s ITS industry in an effort to enter the international market?

That is what we’re hoping to do. We anticipate bringing our technologies and industries to different markets, and we intend to provide total solutions to our customers instead of selling individual technology or equipment.

This means we have to integrate various technologies and services. The ministry has served as a platform for ITS applications where all the public and private sectors, and research institutes in Taiwan can converge. I think now the national team has been formed and it is ready to compete with others in different markets.

See more on Exclusive Interview: Taiwan's ICT to play important role in autonomous vehicles