A test facility for autonomous vehicles will be opened in the coming 2019 in Tainan, Taiwan. The test facility will be equipped with the operational and demonstrated function for autonomous vehicles. In addition, the experience and education activities for the public will be considered within the test facility.
  • The traffic control center will be constructed into: an intelligent green building; the “brain” of the test site; and a location letting visitors view testing activities at the facility. To establish the first test site features complex traffic conditions and driver behaviors in Asia-Pacific region.

52 cases of self-driving vehicle technologies and services are being tested around the world, spurring the needs for innovative technology development, industrial collaboration, mobility service of self-driving vehicles in Taiwan.

In comparison with other countries, Taiwan holds unique advantages in advancing autonomous vehicle technology due not only to its strong and comprehensive infrastructure in facilitating information and communication technology infrastructure but also to its context-rich traffic environment. Indeed, the traffic environment in Taiwan is signified by mixed traffic pattern that is made of pedestrians, motorcycles, and various kinds of vehicles. The environment thus poses challenges in the perception and decision making for self-driving vehicles and a solution that is adapted to the traffic condition can potential be applicable in other Asian countries.

To advance the development of self-driving vehicle technology in Taiwan so as to be in parallel with other countries, the government approved the “Act for Uncrewed Vehicle Technology Innovations and Experiments” in 2018, providing industries, universities and research institutes with regulatory sandbox for conducting innovative experiments of self-driving vehicle technologies, operation, and service in open fields.

The Birth of Taiwan Car Lab

The Taiwan CAR (Connected, Autonomous, Road-test) Lab is established to facilitate the development of self-driving vehicle technologies and services. The Lab features closed field test facilities and equipment to support the development, tuning, and evaluation of self-driving vehicles. The Lab also provides test reports and proofs for the preparation of innovative experiments in the regulatory sandbox.

Besides offering an indispensable verification field to relevant industries, universities and institutes, the opening of Taiwan CAR Lab would facilitate the application and validation of self-driving vehicle R&D results. It is hoped that the R&D energy of related industries could be aroused.

Taiwan CAR Lab is 1.75 hectare. Simulating the low road speed of 0-30 km/h in Taiwan in its design, it offers self-driving small vehicles or medium buses to conduct various tests of mixed traffic flow in its closed field. Targeting at the key procedures of self-driving: “perception”, “decision-making” and “control” to have a comprehensive examination, it provides evaluation reports for contractors as references to conform to the “Act for Uncrewed Vehicle Technology Innovations and Experiments” in the future.

Taiwan CAR Lab provides a self-driving car virtual simulation platform, a data collection application platform and a testing field catering to the particular mixed traffic condition in Taiwan. Combining intelligent driving industries, academic and scientific research energy, Taiwan CAR Lab hopes to spur the development of related industries further.

To enable self-driving cars to conduct related trials, Taiwan CAR Lab has multiple traffic scenario simulation functions.

Take shuttle transportation for example, self-driving shuttle vehicles might take passengers on smart bus stops, passing suburban roundabouts and urban areas, traveling on an iron bridge, a tunnel, a concrete road, bridge seams and a railroad crossing, intersections and so on. Special traffic conditions such as car malfunctions and pedestrians crossing the road are simulated with props to test the detecting or dodging abilities of self-driving systems. Also, the Lab can cater to the needs of a specific self-driving car to arrange various traffic scenarios.

Test Conditions

Condition1.Intersection / Pedestrian Crossing
Condition1.Intersection / Pedestrian Crossing

Type:

  1. Intersections and pedestrian crossings equipped with traffic signals controlled by the intelligent safety systems. (The intelligent system can conduct vehicle safety alert and traffic environment monitoring via OBU, CMS etc. equipment.)
  2. Intersections and pedestrian crossings equipped with general traffic signals

Functionality:
Evaluating an autonomous vehicle’s ability in recognizing traffic signs and signals, and coordinating with the intelligent safety system for driving-route planning.

Condition2.Moving street blocks & scenarios
Condition2.Moving street blocks & scenarios

Type:
Moving street blocks and scenarios (on roadside walls) set up at an intersection to simulate the urban street block environment. (Total 8 sides)

Functionality:
Evaluating an autonomous vehicle’s ability in recognizing and detecting surrounding architecture environment.

Condition3.Smart Bus Shelters
Condition3.Smart Bus Shelters

Type:
2 roadside smart bus shelters set up with real-time display of vehicle info and the number of waiting people.

Functionality:
Evaluating an autonomous vehicle’s ability in driving-route planning and accuracy target-point parking.

Condition4.Roadside Parking lots /spaces
Condition4.Roadside Parking lots /spaces

Type:
3 types of roadside parking lots /spaces set up, including paralleled, angled, and perpendicular.

Functionality:
Evaluating an autonomous vehicle’s ability of automated parking.

Condition5.Roundabout
Condition5.Roundabout

Type:
1 Roundabout with 3 entrances / exits set.

Functionality:
Evaluating an autonomous vehicle’s ability in detecting the roundabout, and planning driving-routes.

Condition6.Narrowing driving lanes
Condition6.Narrowing driving lanes

Type:
Dual narrowing driving lanes (from 2 to 1 lane) set up to create road-environment variations.

Functionality:
Evaluating an autonomous vehicle’s ability in recognizing traffic signs and signals, as well as road-environment adaptations.

Condition7.Road curves
Condition7.Road curves

Type:
2 types of road curves in different radii.

Functionality:
Evaluating an autonomous vehicle’s ability in detecting road traffic markings and front barriers, as well as in automated steering.

Condition8.Level crossings (W/O automatic barriers or gates)
Condition8.Level crossings (W/O automatic barriers or gates)

Type:
2 level (railroad) crossings (W/O automatic barriers or gates); both are signalized and monitored.

Functionality:
Evaluating an autonomous vehicle’s ability in recognizing traffic signs and signals.

Condition9.T-junction
Condition9.T-junction

Type:
Signalized & non-signalized T-junctions with pedestrian crossing

Functionality:
Evaluating an autonomous vehicle’s ability in detecting road environment and planning the driving routes.

Condition10.Concrete road surface / bridge seams
Condition10.Concrete road surface / bridge seams

Type:
Concrete road surface / bridge seams conditions set up on the road to show different road-surface materials.

Functionality:
Evaluating an autonomous vehicle’s ability in detecting road-surface changes and corresponding adaptability.

Condition11.Tunnel
Condition11.Tunnel

Type:
1 tunnel built on the road.

Functionality:
Evaluating the influences of sheltered GPS signals and light-intensity variations on an autonomous vehicle’s sensing systems.

Condition12.Tree canopy
Condition12.Tree canopy

Type:
Lots of trees implanted at roadsides and on traffic islands, so as to create a tree-canopy zone.

Functionality:
Evaluating the influences of light-intensity variations on an autonomous vehicle’s sensing systems.

Condition13.Metal-bridge road surface
Condition13.Metal-bridge road surface

Type:
A metal bridge built to simulate the road surface of a temporary bridge or other metal-surface road conditions.

Functionality:
Evaluating the influences of metal-bridge road surface on an autonomous vehicle’s sensing systems.

Auxiliary Apparatuses

Static Soft Global Vehicle Target (GVT)
Static Soft Global Vehicle Target (GVT)

The static soft Global Vehicle Target (GVT) is a 2018 Euro NCAP-approved, 3D soft-foam target for Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) testing. Being impacted by an autonomous vehicle, the soft-foam target with real-car-resemblance can crumple to avoid damage on the test vehicle; while it can be recovered and re-assembled for re-use again.

Pedestrian & Bicyclist Dummies
Pedestrian & Bicyclist Dummies

The pedestrian dummy with animated human leg movements; while the bicyclist dummy can fully demonstrate the bicycle movement (rotating wheels etc.) and can be fully detected by vehicle advanced safety systems. Both are 2018 Euro NCAP-approved pedestrian targets for Autonomous Emergency Braking – Vulnerable Road Users (AEB VRU) system testing and versification.

Dummy Platform (belt-drive)

Dummies are placed on a belt-drive platform to demonstrate their road-crossing scenarios. After a crash, the dummies will fall and be run over by the test vehicle, but without causing any damage to both. Then, dummies will be reassembled and put on the platform for test again.

High-precision GPS
High-precision GPS

The close-type Shalun test facility is installed with high-precision GPS base stations and vehicle-positioning communication systems, which can articulate different dynamic data of the test autonomous vehicle (speed, location etc.) for triggering the dummy control platform.

Future Development

As Taiwan takes pride in its robust automobile parts manufacturing industry and high quality human resources, Taiwan CAR Lab plans and decides its operational direction based on the need of industries, universities and research institutes.

As a medium of introducing intelligent car open field test, Taiwan CAR Labs offers necessary safety and performance testing environments and relevant verification to contractors willing to import self-driving vehicles as well as open field test groups. To other countries, Taiwan CAR Lab provides testing environments and platform vehicles to help auto parts, module or system dealers improve and verify intelligent driving products so as to facilitate intelligent driving product selling and industrial ecosystem planning.

Regarding R&D, Taiwan CAR Lab is hoping to assist Taiwan in deepening self-driving car technologies, fostering manpower and developing applied services by accumulating technical energy.

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