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Driverless cars 无人驾驶汽车

 

Driverless cars 无人驾驶汽车

 

 

Driverless cars 无人驾驶汽车

 

什么样的汽车不需要司机就可以在道路上驰骋?随着不断发展革新的技术,目前已有越来越多的公司决定接受研发无人驾驶汽车的挑战。驾驶员这一角色在未来会成为过去式吗?本期《随身英语》讨论自动汽车这一概念的历史、现状及发展前景。

课文内容

Vocabulary: driverless cars 词汇:无人驾驶汽车

As the relentless pace of technology continues to advance, companies must adapt or get left behind. One of the key areas of contention these days is the driverless car. Autonomouscars have long been featured in science fiction movies and books, but in recent years they have moved from a pipe dream to a reality.

The development of the autonomous car actually started in the 1920s, but it wasn't until the 1980s that the first prototypes were successfully created, one of which was designed by Mercedes-Benz.

Since then the technology has gone from strength to strength and these days many companies are jumping on the bandwagon. Uber is the latest to announce its plan to unrolla fleet of driverless cars. It follows Apple and Ford, who have announced similar plans, and Google and Tesla, who already have autonomous cars on the road.

Two questions arise: Do we really need them? And are they really safe? Advocates of driverless cars would argue 'yes' to both. Vehicular autonomy, if perfected, could lead to much safer road conditions for all, lower insurance costs and enhance mobility for the elderly, the sick and those with disabilities. They would also allow roads to increase their capacitybetween 200 – 400%.

Perfection, though, seems to be just out of reach at the moment. To date Google's self-driving car, launched in 2012, has had 14 minor accidents. Even worse, Tesla's Autopilot has caused one fatality in 2015, where the vehicle simply did not see the obstacle.

While the technology exists, driverless cars and full vehicular autonomy is still embryonic. That said, you can rest assured that further development in the field is inevitable. And what’s the future? Well, George Marcus, co-founder of Geometric Intelligence – Uber's autonomous development department – imagines a world of flying cars taking us to work. He says "They're going to allow people to take long commutes at 75 or 150 mph where you'd otherwise get stuck in traffic. It's really, in a not-too-distant future, going to be something that is practical." Wouldn't that be fine?

词汇表

relentless 持续不断的
pace 步伐
adapt 适应,改变
contention 争议,争论
autonomous 无人驾驶的,自动的
pipe dream 幻想,不现实的计划
prototype (机器、工业产品等)原型
go from strength to strength 日益强大,蒸蒸日上
jumping on the bandwagon 跟风,紧跟潮流
unroll 公开展示,发布
a fleet of cars 一组车队
advocates 拥护者,提倡者
vehicular autonomy 车辆自动驾驶(技术)
mobility 行动能力
capacity 负荷
out of reach 遥不可及的
fatality 死亡事故
embryonic 未成熟的,初期的
inevitable 必然会发生的

测验与练习

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

1. Which two car companies already have driverless cars on the road?

2. True or False: Mercedes-Benz created the first driverless car prototype.

3. What advantages will driverless cars bring to society?  

4. Are driverless cars 100% safe?

5. Which expression in the text means not maintain progress with?

2. 请你在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处。

1. I'll never make enough money to go to the moon. It's just a ______.

prototype         fleet         bandwagon         pipe dream

2. I can't get around like I used to. I just don't have the ______ anymore.

autonomy         mobility         contention         fatality

3. The tiger was ______ in its pursuit of the deer. It followed it over miles of country.

pace         inevitable         relentless         embryonic

4. It is believed that there has been at least one _________ in last night's train crash.

fatality         out of reach         adapt         advocate

5. I am a feminist so of course I'm an ______ of equal pay for women!

contention         mobility         autonomy         advocate

答案

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

1. Which two car companies already have driverless cars on the road?

Google and Tesla, who already have autonomous cars on the road.

2. True or False: Mercedes-Benz created the first driverless car prototype.

False. ONE was designed by Mercedes-Benz.

3. What advantages will driverless cars bring to society?

Much safer road conditions for all, lower insurance costs and enhance mobility for the elderly, the sick and those with disabilities. They would also allow roads to increase their capacity between 200 – 400%.

4. Are driverless cars 100% safe?

No. Google's self-driving car, launched in 2012, has had 14 minor accidents. Tesla's Autopilot has caused one fatality in 2015.

5. Which expression in the text means not maintain progress with?

'Get left behind'.

2. 请你在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处 

1. I'll never make enough money to go to the moon. It's just a pipe dream.

2. I can't get around like I used to. I just don't have the mobility anymore.

3. The tiger was relentless in its pursuit of the deer. It followed it over miles of country.

4. It is believed that there has been at least one fatality in last night's train crash.

5. I am a feminist so of course I'm an advocate of equal pay for women!


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