The PwC Artificial Intelligence (AI) Study shows that AI will become the world's largest source of business opportunities in 2030. AI is the key technology the world will invest in for the next 10 years. For greater strength in the AI era, more local Taiwan talent will shine on the international AI stage. The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) subsidizes National Taiwan University's Center for Artificial Intelligence (AINTU). Professor Liao Hong Yuan’s team used AI technology to develop a worldwide smart transportation system, and together with Elan Microelectronics Group, proposed the urban traffic solution to effectively improve the efficiency of public transportation and enable Taiwan to use the small country big strategy approach, realizing the digital nation, smart island goal.
Piloting by Vision, Completing a Quality AI Ecosystem
As the developed countries around the world deploy innovative AI applications, their national competitiveness will be enhanced. To implement the digital nation, smart island proposal put forward by President Tsai Ing-wen, MOST relies on its AI cloud service platform, smart robotics innovation base, AI Innovation Research Center, semiconductor Moonshot project, and the Grand Challenge to cover hardware construction, R&D services, implementation, talent cultivation, technology R&D, and industry pilots to create a basic AI environment, improve the quality of the ecosystem, and focus on the innovation of industrial excellence. The AI Innovation Research Center is a cross-disciplinary integration that focuses on smart healthcare, smart manufacturing, smart monitoring, and smart transportation and has realized unprecedented achievements in academia and industry.
Chen Liang-gee, MOST Minister, emphasizes, "Taiwan is small, but it has development potential due to its excellent AI R&D, high science and technology ranking, strong digital competitiveness, and complete industrial structure. AI should be the foundation and combining that with the advantages of the ICT industry to cultivate talent, technology, fields, and industry to build an innovative ecosystem will make Taiwan into a major development center for AI."
With MOST's financial assistance, National Taiwan University's Center for Artificial Intelligence (AINTU) has delivered eye-catching report cards in the field of smart transportation with the Intelligent Traffic Flow Analytics in City solution, which is a successful step towards becoming a digital nation and smart island.
Global influence, improving traffic efficiency instantly
With smart technology and biotechnology as the two major research and development themes, AINTU set up two sub-centers, Artificial Intelligence Technology (AIT) and All Vista Healthcare (MAHC), to carry out cross-disciplinary, cross-unit, and cross-international cooperation models, and strives to become international research centers. Professor Liao Hong Yuan’s team of the center cooperated with PiXORD, a subsidiary of Elan Microelectronics Group, to jointly develop the Intelligent Traffic Flow Analytics in City solution. This project uses AI deep learning technology in the application of multimedia data processing. It mainly uses AI calculation traffic signal re-timing technology and smart traffic analysis to enter the international stage. 360-degree fisheye cameras are installed at intersections to record the traffic flow, and the data is imported into the cloud platform at the same time for analysis. The traffic volume of each intersection is instantly known, trucks, cars, and scooters are identified from the images, and the directions of the vehicles are predicted to calculate the most suitable traffic signal cycle length. Adjacent roads are factored in so that the re-timing of traffic signals occurs within the radius to improve traffic efficiency, mitigate traffic, and eliminate congestion. Further, ‘Intelligent Traffic Flow Analytics in City solution’ has already received support from Smart City Taiwan program of Industrial Development Bureau which belongs to Ministry of Economic Affairs, and began to apply its R&D results and technology in Kaohsiung City, Tainan City, Chiayi City and Chiayi County. In the near future, other areas like Hsinchu Science Park under Ministry of Science and Technology, Taipei City, Taoyuan City, and Taichung City would quickly attend this ‘Intelligent Traffic Flow Analytics in City solution’ as well. The data shows that after AI automated control, the average number of stops of vehicles is reduced by 30% and their travel time is reduced by 3 minutes. This technology is tailored to local conditions. It identifies the uniqueness of Taiwan's traffic—a smart imaging system that can recognize scooter traffic—to meet the needs of industrial and social development. At the same time, this technology is used in countries in the south; it has been set up on important roads in the Philippines, and the Ministry of Transport of Thailand is also planning to use this project to realize AI in the country.
AI technology is changing the development of industries around the globe, from competing in the market to creating a market. Looking forward to the future, MOST will continue to build a service model that drives hardware, and an operating method that defines hardware by software, linking the advantages of Taiwan’s local industries to make industries intelligent with AI.
Ms. Ting Jing Wen, Researcher
Department of Foresight and Innovation Policies, Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST)