WinBus to Kick Off “Sandbox” Operation in Central Taiwan

TAIPEI, Jan. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Taiwan, globally renowned for its world-class IT and micro-electronics, has never been absent from the vigorous development of autonomous-driving vehicle industry.

In conjunction with many experimental projects running worldwide, the high-tech island has launched several self-driving vehicle experimental projects in 2020, including the very first, and the most eye-catching projects executed by Automotive Research & Testing Center (ARTC), Taiwan, the leading transportation vehicle testing and R&D in Taiwan.

ARTC announced that WinBus, Taiwan’s first homegrown, pure-electric, and a SAE LEVEL-4 autonomous minibus, won a license for an one-year experimental “sandbox” operation sponsored by “Unmanned Vehicles Technology Innovative Experimentation Program” under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), R.O.C.

Initial stages of the experimental operation has included a two-month self-driving test operation for collecting related technical and operational data; then began providing free-experiencing shuttle services to the general public in June 2020.   

The WinBus

Developed and built by ARTC, the WinBus is a 100% Made-in-Taiwan autonomous vehicle achieving SAE LEVEL-4 driving automation; meaning that the autonomous minibus does not require human interaction in most circumstances; however, a human still has the option to manually override.

With an eye-catching, oval-shaped and streamlined body, the “MIT” WinBus was crafted by ARTC and a group of more than 20 suppliers in local supply chain, including chassis, powertrain, battery, body, and key systems for sensing, decision-making, connection etc.

The self-driving minibus features many most-advanced technologies and key-systems supplied by Taiwanese suppliers, while integrated by ARTC. Its onboard systems make immediate decisions to control different sub-systems, such as steering, brake, acceleration…, through various types of sensors, including camera, Lidars (32-layer), and radars (77GHz) etc., as well as other high-techs like high-precision positioning, AI sensor-fusion, and intelligent decision-making…etc.

Challenging World’s Longest-range Self-driving Shuttle Service

A tie-up between ARTC and other local partners, including Kingwaytek Technology, Chunghwa Telecom, and Acer ITS; is challenging the world’s longest-range public shuttle service through the “sandbox” operation.

In the experimental operation, the WinBus has to overcome a big variety of traffic conditions and complexities throughout a 12.3-km fixed route with different scenarios (comparing to most 10 KM-less similar projects worldwide); including T intersections without traffic lights, adaptive vehicle braking by encountering pedestrians or other objects, fast/slow-lane switching, adaptive braking again front vehicles, traffic-light identification & reaction, turning at intersections, stopping at bus-stops…etc. The project will be even meaningful and milestone-setting, as it is tested under the very complicated traffic conditions in Taiwan, and need to showcase the vehicle’s capabilities in providing safe and comfort shuttle services in-between key scenery spots in Lukang, central Taiwan. 

A Key Part to Industry Development

Jerry Wang, president of ARTC, points out that actual verification is the most vital part for a vehicle from development to commercialization. Under the sponsorship from Department of Industrial Technology (DoIT) under MOEA, he adds, ARTC has completed the construction of the WinBus, and will continue to tie up with local partners for creating new and innovative business models that are crucial in future’s self-driving vehicle industry development in Taiwan. 

ARTC is scheduled to kick off a commercial operation project with private companies, offering shuttle-transport services in the Changhua Coastal Industrial Park for accumulating more operation credits. Finally, Wang stress, our goal is the export of key systems and innovative business models of the WinBus to global customers.

To meet the WinBus before you get onto it:

WinBus, New Milestone in Intelligent Transportation


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SOURCE Automotive Research & Testing Center (ARTC), Taiwan

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