TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan ranked 13th out of 30 countries surveyed in KPMG International’s 2020 Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index.
The Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index (AVRI) is a tool to help assess the level of preparedness of self-driving vehicles across 30 countries and jurisdictions, according to KPMG. It is a composite index that combines 28 individual measures organized into four categories: policy and legislation, technology and innovation, infrastructure, and consumer acceptance.
Singapore ranked first this year, with the Netherlands coming in second and Norway in third. This was the first year Taiwan was included in the index, coming in at 13th place.
Taiwan was one of five countries given the top rating for government-funded autonomous vehicle pilots. According to KPMG, in December 2018, the legislature passed the Unmanned Vehicles Technology Innovative Experimentation Act, which set up a framework for testing self-driving cars in addition to drones and autonomous boats.
Then, in February 2019, the Taiwan CAR Lab was opened in Tainan for autonomous vehicle road-testing as well as connected vehicle-to-vehicle and infrastructure design. The testing facility focuses on road situations likely to appear in Taiwan, KPMG said.
According to Richard Hsu of KPMG Taiwan, since driving conditions in the country are similar to those in many other Asia-Pacific nations, companies can come to Taiwan “to test vehicles so they can adapt their driverless vehicle technology for those countries.”
Another trial taking place is WinBus, a self-driving minibus that started testing in May 2020, which will run for one year along sightseeing routes in Changhua Coastal Industrial Park. The project also involves collaborations with state-owned telecommunications provider Chunghwa Telecom and mapping provider Kingwaytek Technology.
KPMG also pointed out that local governments in Taiwan are looking to utilize autonomous vehicles for public transportation to help reduce traffic congestion and help with a shortage of night-time bus drivers.
The country also benefits from a strong automotive parts production sector. Hsu pointed out that this focus on parts may also help in transitioning existing vehicles to autonomous operation, which could prove an attractive lower-cost option for some developing nations.