The central and local governments are the major drivers behind promoting the concept of a smart city in Kaohsiung. Since 2019, the Kaohsiung City Government has been formulating a blueprint for smart city governance, and founded the Kaohsiung Smart City Promotion Committee, inviting heavy weights from industries, the government, academia, and research institutes. In addition, the Kaohsiung Smart City Project Management Office (KPMO) was also established.
Last year, President Tsai Ing-wen announced a budget of NT$11 billion in five years to accelerate the establishment of Taiwan’s most comprehensive 5G AIoT Innovation Park in the Asia New Bay Area. In just a few years, Kaohsiung has shown positive results of smart city governance and has received recognition from international experts and residents.
Known as the Oscars in the field of smart cities, the IDC Smart City Asia/Pacific Awards (SCAPA) has chosen more than 330 smart city projects from the public and private enterprises in the Asia Pacific this year. The Kaohsiung City Government was in the big league in the categories of Transportation - Transport Infrastructure and Public Safety – Data-Driven Policing, successfully gaining a reputation on the international stage in one fell swoop.
The Transportation Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government, which was one of the award recipients, submitted a project titled “Kaohsiung Port's External Traffic - AI Smart Signals” and channeled advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) on roads with high traffic volume to achieve the goals of reducing wait times at intersections, enhancing the efficiency of arterial roads, optimizing traffic signal at multiple intersections, improving road safety, and others.
The other winning project “3D Public Safety Inspection and Warning System” was proposed by the Kaohsiung City Police Department. In collaboration with a telecommunication company, the methods of AI image analysis and sound recognition are utilized in high-risk areas to detect potential criminal activity through algorithms and send alerts to local police stations in real-time. This would allow the operatives to manage the situation remotely, such as warning through a public address system or calling the police to handle the situation, effectively preventing a crime from occurring.
In addition, two projects representing Taiwan were submitted to the fifth APEC Energy Smart Communities Initiative (ESCI) Best Practices Program this year by the Kaohsiung City Government. Both projects stood out from the 65 projects submitted by 17 countries, winning an award each. One of the winning projects - the MaaS (Mobility as a Service) MeNGo Program - launched by the Institute of Transportation, Ministry of Transportation, and Communications & Transportation Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government, was awarded Silver in the Smart Transport category.
The Kaohsiung City Government stated that the MeNGo Program, which is the first MaaS brand in Taiwan and Asia, has integrated public transportation services such as MRT, light rail, city buses, ferries, public bicycles, shared electric scooters, and parking spaces. In the future, other than cooperating with more cities in the world to expand services, smart technologies including 5G, AIoT and Vehicle-to-Everything will be continuously implemented, leading Kaohsiung’s diversified transportation system to the international stage.