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Humans take back seat as Waymo’s driverless cars pass Phoenix milestone

来源:FT中文网    2017-11-08 07:02

        The first truly autonomous cars — vehicles that cruise the streets with no one behind the wheel — have finally arrived.        第一款真正的无人驾驶汽车——在街上行驶时完全没有司机掌控——终于到来了。
        Waymo, which began life as Google’s self-driving car project, disclosed yesterday that it had let its driverless cars loose in parts of Phoenix, Arizona, with nobody in the front seats to take over in case of emergency.        源自谷歌(Google)自动驾驶汽车项目的Waymo昨日披露,他们已让其无人驾驶汽车在亚利桑那州凤凰城的部分地区自由行驶,前排座椅上完全没有人准备应对突发情况。
        Members of the public taking part in a Waymo trial in the desert city in the US south-west will be able to summon the vehicles through a ride-hailing app “in the next few months”, the group said.        Waymo方面表示,“在接下来的几个月”,公众可以通过一个叫车软件在美国西南部的这座沙漠之城召唤这些无人驾驶汽车,参与该集团的试验。
        Potentially one of the most disruptive new technologies, as well as one of the most hyped, driverless cars have been at the centre of a race between big automakers and technology companies. But while a number of groups are testing the technology on the streets with back-up drivers behind the wheel, most believe the advent of full autonomy is at least two years away.        无人驾驶技术可能是最具颠覆性且炒作最多的新技术之一,无人驾驶汽车是大型汽车制造商与科技企业之间一场竞赛的核心。但是,虽然好几家集团正在路上测试这项技术,同时备有司机在方向盘后以防万一,但大多数人仍认为,完全自动驾驶的到来至少还要两年时间。
        The test, while limited to an unspecified area, is “not a one-time ride or a demo” but the start of “a new phase for Waymo and the history of this technology”, according to John Krafcik, head of Waymo, who announced the milestone at a tech conference in Lisbon yesterday. The company plans to expand it to the entire Phoenix region, he added, without giving a timeframe.        Waymo的负责人约翰•克拉富西克(John Krafcik)表示,此次试验虽然被限定在一个未公开的区域,却“并不是一次性的驾驶或演示”,而是“Waymo和这项技术的一个新阶段”的开端。他昨日在里斯本召开的一个技术会议上宣布了这一里程碑式的事件。克拉富西克补充道,该公司计划将这一测试扩展到整个凤凰城,但并未给出时间表。
        Google shocked the auto industry when it first disclosed a rudimentary version of its driverless technology seven years ago this week, and it subsequently invested more than $1bn in autonomous vehicle research.        七年前的这个星期,谷歌首次披露了其无人驾驶技术的雏形,震惊了汽车行业,随后谷歌向自动驾驶汽车的研究投入逾10亿美元。
        Rivals concede it still has a technology lead, though sceptics question whether the artificial intelligence is good enough to respond to the many unforeseen events that could occur on the road.        竞争对手们承认,谷歌在技术上仍然领先,尽管怀疑者质疑,人工智能技术是否已完善到足以应对道路上可能发生的许多无法预见的情况。
        “I’m concerned they’re following the traditional Silicon Valley mode of: let’s put something out in beta and fix it as we go along,” said John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog, a US advocacy group.        “我担心他们正在遵循传统的硅谷模式:先出个测试版,然后在使用中进行修补,”美国消费者维权组织Consumer Watchdog的约翰•辛普森(John Simpson)说。
        Waymo believes it is the first company to reach a standard known in the driverless car world as level 4, meaning its cars can drive under full autonomy in preset areas that have been carefully mapped and tested.        Waymo相信,该公司率先达到了在无人驾驶汽车领域被称为4级(level 4)的标准,这意味着其汽车能在预先设定的区域实现完全自动驾驶,这些区域都经过了仔细的地图绘制与测试。
        Uber, General Motors, Delphi, BMW and others have been conducting testing to reach level 4, but all of them still keep a human in the driver’s seat.        为达到4级,优步(Uber)、通用汽车(General Motors)、德尔福(Delphi)、宝马(BMW)及其他公司也一直在进行测试,但这些公司测试车辆的驾驶位上仍然有一位真人司机。
        Additional reporting by Leslie Hook        何丽(Leslie Hook)旧金山补充报道
        in San Francisco        译者/何黎

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