“Taiwan has formally entered a new era of low carbon smart transport development.”
In recent years, more and more people emphasize leisure activities, resulting in cars overflowing in scenic areas almost every holiday. For example, the number of tourists visiting Sun Moon Lake in 2011 was only 5.33 million, but in 2012 it exceeded 8 million. However, the result of this significant increase in visitors has not only caused serious traffic congestion, but also resulted in the gradual deterioration of air quality, and it is more likely to reduce the overall quality of tourism services in Sun Moon Lake area in the future.
The Institute of Transportation, MOTC, has proposed the i3 Travel – Loving Travel project for solving the problems currently faced and planning future developments by cooperating with the Administration of the Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area. We hope can improve the traffic and travel service quality of Sun Moon Lake.
The main ideas of the i3 Travel Project are innovative, intelligent, and interesting, which means the project expects to offer the tourists “innovative” thought and “intelligent” information services to make the travel experience more “interesting”. Also, by offering LBS (Location-Based Service) transportation and travel information with seamless public transportation, we expect to lower the proportion of tourists.
- Introducing Globally Limited Smart Electric Vehicle Sharing Services: Cooperation was conducted with the Ministry of Economic Affairs (Electric Vehicle Promotion Office of the Industrial Development Bureau) for promotion. High-quality electric vehicles (iQ-EV) are used through a sharing scheme to allow tourists in the lake area to experience the beauty of Sun Moon Lake in energy-saving and environmentally friendly ways while simultaneously saving them money. It could be said that this measure catches several birds with one stone. Each electric vehicle is equipped with Advanced Navi Services (ANS), which use the concept of information services in future cars to develop an exclusive travel navigation system aimed at the characteristics of tours at Sun Moon Lake. The ANS integrate numerous smart transportation system services. In addition to controlling the state of the vehicle at all times to ensure the safety of tourists, location-based services (LBS) and multimedia information can also be used to guide tourists on in-depth tours of Sun Moon Lake.
- Introducing Electric Buses for New Low-Carbon Lake Services: Cooperation was conducted with the Environmental Protection Administration for promotion. Electric buses thus replaced the original diesel lake buses. The buses are also equipped with multimedia audio tours and dynamic information display systems, allowing Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area to become the first National Scenic Area in Taiwan to make complete use of electric buses.
- Establishing a CMS Information Dissemination Platform for Seamless Communication Across Agencies: Coordination was completed for the integration of resources and information across agencies and departments on different levels of government to provide for the integration of regional transport coordination and management. This effectively facilitates the execution of traffic control measures and evacuation operations for large-scale activities.
- Promoting the Innovative Services for Sun Moon Lake Low-Carbon Tourism Electronic Travel Packages: A single electronic ticket combines various transportation systems, attractions, and featured local businesses to construct solutions for smart transportation and low-carbon tourism, expanding the industrial efficiency of the combination of transportation and tourism. In addition, an integrated service platform for electronic tickets is established to provide exclusive app services for Sun Moon Lake and integrated services for smart and convenient regional tourism.
- Effectively Reducing the Usage of Private Transport Systems and Achieving Energy-Saving and Carbon Reduction Benefits:
- Investigation and analysis indicated that the proportion of private transport systems (cars and scooters) in the Sun Moon Lake area was originally 41.7% and fell to 34% after the high-quality low-carbon transport services were provided.
- Calculated based on mileage of usage, the introduction of electric vehicle sharing services could reduce CO2 emissions by 96 metric tons each year.
- Various services continue to be promoted. It is estimated that beginning in 2020, CO2 emissions could be reduced by approximately 1,340 metric tons each year.
Through this project, we established an innovative tourism service environment and industry value in the following ways:
- Establishing Park & Travel, a New Tourism Pattern: The control concept of traffic intercept circles was introduced to enhance service quality in the tourism transport system. Controls on private cars were introduced gradually to encourage tourists to park their private vehicles and use low-carbon and smart tourism methods to enjoy the splendid landscape of Sun Moon Lake.
- Establishing Comprehensive Low-Carbon Transport Systems: Trails, bicycles, gondolas, electric vehicles, electric lake buses, and electric boats are used to achieve the objective of meeting low-carbon standards for every mile of travel.
- Establishing Deep and Thoughtful Tourist Information Services: In order to guide tourists to use the various low-carbon transportation systems at Sun Moon Lake, we established convenient smartphone app services that are easy to use. In addition, each electric vehicle at Sun Moon Lake is equipped with Advanced Navi Services (ANS) that can provide location-based (LBS) multimedia information services for tourists, creating a safe and in-depth tourism stie.
- Establishing a Complete Electronic Ticket Transaction System to Create a More Convenient Tourism and Shopping Environment: Taiwan’s largest electronic ticketing system, EasyCard, has been introduced. In addition to allowing tourists to use the various low-carbon transportation tools conveniently, we also integrated high-quality medium- and small-sized businesses in the Sun Moon Lake area to help expand the exceptional special services available locally. Both domestic and foreign tourists can use the ubiquitous electronic tickets to connect to a convenient tourism and shopping environment.
- Establishing a Bridge for Technological Cooperation Between Domestic IT Manufacturers and International Automakers: When promoting low-carbon tourism at Sun Moon Lake, we made full use of policy tools to allow Hotai Motors (whose parent company is Toyota Motor Corporation) to transfer and give domestic firms the opportunity to participate in the development and manufacturing of the equipment and technology for the electric vehicles. Heavyweights such as ASUS (navigation panels inside the electric vehicles), Delta Electronics (charging stations), and Chunghwa Telecom (wireless communications) were also introduced successfully into Toyota’s manufacturing service value chain.