Smart transportation has seen rapid development, and a variety of connected in-vehicle applications have also emerged. As an example of how complex transportation logistics could be, Van Lin, Director of In-Vehicle Computing Product Division at Advantech, explained how the Munich Airport in Germany must support a variety of modes of transportation, such as shuttle buses, luggage carriers, tank filling trucks, and forklifts. In addition, cities require vehicles used in emergency rescue operations and ports need smart transportation management. In-vehicle systems must be in place to provide real-time information management during the entire logistics process, from containers arriving at the port to goods distributed to warehouses and delivered to retail stores.
As the cloud services and smart city concepts mature, the consumers' shopping behaviors have also gradually been transformed. For retailers, in addition to improving service performances through establishing point of sales (POS) systems, the POS systems have also been transformed from simple sales applications to those combined with more intelligent value-added applications as well as vertically integrated with various operators or services to provide better shopping experiences through the smart POS.
Continued innovations in front-end sensor technology, cloud computing, and cloud service technology within the Internet of Things (IoT) sector have contributed to an increasing amount of related applications that can be successfully adopted in transportation and city traffic control systems. According to Roger Shyu, Manager, Axiomtek Co., Ltd., humans continue to pursue technological improvements in order to make their lives more convenient, hence there will be increased emphasis on smart traffic controls.
Following the student-led Sunflower protests which lasted about 20 days, most people in Taiwan have come to appreciate the police's hard work on the frontline, as well as the capability of the ever-changing technologies that enabled Internet users to quickly organize demonstrations, adding burdens to police work. The new-generation police have to control and integrate various technological tools to facilitate crime investigation and prevention.
In the past several years, various cities and counties in Taiwan have actively participated in the ICF's Intelligent Community Awards and have continually done well, showing that Taiwan's efforts and accomplishments in building smart cities have won recognition from global experts. The "Taoyuan Core Aerotropolis Project" that the government is currently working on will further demonstrate to the world Taiwan's ICT capabilities as well as its industrial and economic prowess.
ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) have become an important component of smart cities in recent years. Huel-Sheng Tsay, Commissioner, Department of Rapid Transit Systems, Taipei City Government, noted that ITS productively integrate and utilize advanced information technologies, information/communication transfer, electronic sensors, artificial intelligence and computer processing in transportation and management systems, enhancing the efficiency of system resource usage and system security, and reducing consumption and environmental pollution.
The roadmap to smart cities illustrates that intelligent networking infrastructures connected through the Internet of Things (IoT) can lead to the convergence of next-generation information and communications technologies (ICT), changing ways of life and the environment while creating convenience for residents. The implementation of smart city initiatives not only requires collaboration among the government, the ICT industry and individuals, but also relies on practical needs that people have to uncover smart city opportunities.
Northern Europe can be seen as a pioneering region and offers the most successful example of the development of global smart cities. Local governments actively engage in construction projects including informatization, implementing mature unmanned stations, managing offshore construction and developing fjord tunnels. Taiwan, as the key hub for global ICT (information and communications technology) R&D and manufacturing, can elevate itself to become a shining example of an Asia smart city leader by using the experience of northern Europe's smart cities as an example to follow.
Improving mobile data communication technology plays a key role in constructing a smart service network in smart cities. Currently, 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile data transfer technology is the most popular. In addition to countries such as South Korea, Japan, and Singapore that have been aggressive in building 4G commercial services, Taiwan began issuing 4G licenses in October 2013 and Taiwan-based telecommunication carriers will begin to provide 4G services by the end of 2014.
Consumer payments have developed from using paper, to magnetic stripe cards, to integrated circuit (IC) cards, and eventually, to chip cards. The evolution from magnetic stripe cards to chip cards is a response by the card issuing agencies to growing consumer concerns about payment safety. Furthermore, moving from chip cards to Near Field Communications (NFC) or even to Online to Offline (O2O), a type of value-added payment method that integrates marketing, will bring more potential benefits to the consumer market as part of the emerging smart city ecosystem.