As Taiwan’s living environment changes, problems such as traffic jams, parking, and air pollution ensued in highly populated cities. For this reason, the government has actively developed smart cities in hopes of solving social problems through technology. Since 2018, the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB), Ministry of Economic Affairs (M.O.E.A.) has implemented the project, “Smart City Taiwan,” through public-private-partnership (PPP), where local enterprises, academic institutions, and start-ups are encouraged to participate in the test run on the application at service sites, in hopes of facilitating industrial development.
To give consideration to international trends and local demand, the IDB has conceived local innovation (bottom-up) and innovative service (top-down). Centered on “local demand,” local innovation (bottom-up) allows city (county) governments to design questions based on their own needs and gaps and to solicit proposals for improvement from vendors, so as to step up the popularization of smart applications across Taiwan; focusing on international trends, innovative service (top-down) solicits research proposals for future-proof technologies such as artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, edge computing, blockchain, and 5G to build a supply chain for smart services in Taiwan.
Taking air pollution control as an example, seven of the top ten causes of death in Taiwan are closely related to air pollution. Poor air quality has a significantly negative impact on children and the elderly in particular, and may be fatal in severe cases. Due to the lack of air quality monitoring stations, the large number of air pollution variables, and the detection limit of sensors, it is difficult to detect pollution hotspots effectively, let alone blind spots and dead spaces; evidence for excessive exhaust illegally discharged by unscrupulous operators is also hard to find, making an effective inspection and punishment impossible.
To overcome the difficulty of determining the source and cause of air pollution, CAMEO Company, an AI system manufacturer, assists the Taoyuan City Government in establishing an IoT-based smart environment system consisting of 100 sets of sensors in the Guanyin Industrial Park to collects air quality data. The system adopts a visual interface to store evidence, trace back, connect, and track air pollution data, and uses an automated prediction model based on the AI algorithm to monitor changes in regional air quality 24/7 and predict air quality in 4 hours with an accuracy rate of 70%.
Based on the air pollution monitoring data, the system is able to mark and locate the factories that discharge exhaust illegally, allowing the city government to immediately issue a warning requesting correction. As of today, air pollution fees amounting to $4 million have been recovered from illegal factories, effectively deterring the manufacturers from discharging again by fluke. This smart IoT-based smart environment system will be extended to other cities and counties across Taiwan such as Dajia Youth Industrial Park and Central Taiwan Science Park so that more people living in the neighborhood of industrial parks can benefit from such new technology.
Yu-Chi Yang, ISTI,
Smart City Taiwan Office of Industrial Development Bureau,