In this fast-paced world, progress in science and technology has brought about business transformations more rapidly than ever. Modern technologies and innovations completely transform the way we live, work and do business. Rapid proliferation of new technologies and the powerful convergence of technologies have revolutionized and, in many cases, disrupted the industry, which promises a better and sustainable world and the superior quality of life. Examples of these powerful technologies and their applications include autonomous vehicles, agriculture drones, transport and delivery unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), telemedicine, blockchain, cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence.
While these emerging technologies enable new levels of convenience for everyday living, they also come with risks and therefore should be properly regulated so that users, consumers and the public are protected. Additionally, their social and economic implications should be evaluated so that measures can be put in place to prevent adverse effects of such innovations once released to the market.
In Thailand, existing mechanisms, laws and regulations mostly do not cover the emerging technologies. Ride hailing services, for instance, are not yet subject to any law and restriction, including consumer protection, safety and taxation, leaving these new businesses in the gray area. Without having to comply with laws and regulations, ride hailing service providers gain advantages over conventional taxi operators and therefore compete for the market share under an unfair playing field.
To create a safe and friendly regulatory environment for innovation development, NXPO has introduced a concept of Innovation Sandbox which has been submitted to the Policy Council. Innovation Sandbox provides an environment wherein new technologies can be safely tested under the strict supervision of the regulators, without being required to abide by full regulatory requirements. It will allow cutting-edge technologies as well as a highly skilled workforce to be fully developed, while public safety and privacy can be safeguarded, and any implication can be carefully examined so that proper measures and laws can be put in place. NXPO is in the process of collecting information in order to set priority on issues such as laws, regulations and procedures to be reviewed and amended as well as devise proper mechanisms to advance the causes through an engagement of stakeholders, including entrepreneurs, researchers, public and private entities.