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无人驾驶汽车如何融入城市交通

来源:英语阅读 编辑:英语学习 时间:2017-07-01

On the path along the waterfront of the Greenwich peninsula, on the river Thames in east London, residents have become used to encountering a four-wheeled pod trundling among the runners, walkers, cyclists and dogs. The vehicle runs regularly — at a maximum speed of 10mph, beeping continuously — between the InterContinental Hotel on the west of the peninsula and blocks of flats to the east.

在伦敦东部泰晤士河畔的格林威治(Greenwich)半岛,居民们已经习惯于在滨江的道路上遇到一种形似太空舱的四轮Pod车。这种小车缓慢地穿行在跑步、行走、骑车和牵狗的人们之间。以每小时10英里的最大速度,这种车在格林威治半岛西部的洲际酒店(InterContinental Hotel)和东部的公寓区之间规律地运行,一路发出嘟嘟声。

无人驾驶汽车如何融入城市交通

The biggest surprise about the vehicle is not its futuristic appearance but how it is controlled. While current safety rules require a human to monitor the vehicle’s performance and step in to avoid crashes, the pod largely drives itself. It is one of several experiments worldwide aimed at exploring how autonomous vehicles might mesh with city transport systems. All are looking at how a technology being developed mainly for US highways can work in the more confined, chaotic space of city streets.

这种车最让人惊讶的地方不在于其未来主义的外观,而在于其操控方式。尽管当前的安全法规要求由人来监控无人驾驶汽车的运行、在必要时出手干预以避免事故,这辆车基本是自动驾驶的。在世界各地,为探索自动驾驶车辆如何融入城市交通系统,人们在进行多项试验,这是其中之一。所有人都在关注:一项主要为美国公路研发的技术,如何能应用于更狭窄、更混乱的城市街道。

At the heart of these efforts is an attempt to work out whether driverless vehicles will ease or worsen the impact that private car travel has had on many cities following the highway-building craze of the mid-20th century.

这些努力的核心是为了确认一件事情:在20世纪中叶的公路建设潮之后,私家车出行对许多城市造成了影响,无人驾驶车辆是会缓解还是会加重这种影响。

Some fear the technology could prompt more journeys by private motor vehicles rather than more space-efficient public transport. If the technology provides comfortable, stress-free, private journeys, it might also prompt people to commute daily from further afield, generating yet more traffic.

一些人担心,无人驾驶技术将会带来更多私家机动车出行,而不是促进更节省道路空间的公共交通。如果这项技术提供了一种舒适、无压力的非公共交通方式,它也可能促使人们增加每日通勤距离,从而产生更多的车流量。

Experts concerned about such impacts on behaviour argue it is vital that the rollout of autonomous vehicle technology goes hand-in-hand with a rethink of how it is used.

专家们担忧无人驾驶技术会对行为产生影响,他们主张,关键的一点是,推广自动驾驶车辆技术应该与重新思考这种技术的运用方式同步进行。

David Begg, a former chairman of the UK’s Commission for Integrated Transport, accepts that autonomous vehicles will use road space more efficiently but says the problem remains that cars take up too much space for the people they carry. On average, most vehicles contain little more than one person — the driver.

英国综合交通委员会(Commission for Integrated Transport)前主席戴维?贝格(David Begg)承认,自动驾驶车辆能够更高效地利用道路空间,但他表示,一个问题依然存在,就是汽车占用道路空间相对其运载的人数还是太多。平均而言,大多数车辆所载人数几乎只有一人,就是司机。

“There’s no doubt [autonomous vehicles] can allow us to squeeze more vehicles [into] a given amount of capacity because they’re bumper-to-bumper and side-by-side,” Prof Begg says. “[But] unless we can increase vehicle occupancy up from 1.1, we’re moving too much fresh air and not enough people.”

“毫无疑问(自动驾驶车)能够让我们在既定的道路承载量上挤进更多的车辆,因为这些车辆行驶时可以首尾相接,左右紧挨,”贝格教授说,“(但)除非我们能够将车辆搭载人数从1.1提高到更多,否则我们就是移动了太多的空气,却没有移动足够多的人。”

Dieter Helm, professor of energy policy at Oxford university, dismisses many of the concerns about driverless technology. He says likely improvements in how close together autonomous vehicles can drive should reduce congestion problems. Because it will be easier for people to share use of autonomous vehicles, they will also quickly start carrying more passengers per trip, Prof Helm adds.

牛津大学(University of Oxford)能源政策教授迪特尔?赫尔姆(Dieter Helm)认为,许多对无人驾驶技术的担忧都是没有必要的。他表示,自动驾驶车辆在行驶中的间距有可能缩小,这应该能够缓解道路堵塞问题。赫尔姆还说,因为人们能够更容易地共享自动驾驶车辆,自动驾驶车辆将很快能够在每一次行程中搭载更多的乘客。

“We have this distinction between public and private transport,” he says. “You either have you in your car or lots of people in a train. An interesting question about autonomous vehicles is: what would be their capacity use [per] car?”

“我们对公共交通和私人出行存在这样的区分,”他说:“要么是自己坐在自己的车里,要么是很多人同时乘坐一趟列车。有关自动驾驶车辆,一个有趣的问题是:(每辆)车的运力使用率将是多少?”

The Greenwich experiment, which is being run in conjunction with Heathrow airport and TRL, a transport research company, is exploring a fundamental question about how autonomous vehicles will fit into city streets. Oxbotica, the Oxford company that developed the vehicle’s software, is trying to improve the pods’ ability to track people, cyclists and other non-vehicular objects.

正在格林威治半岛进行的这个实验,是与希斯罗机场(Heathrow airport)和交通研究公司TRL合作开展的。这项实验探索的是一个根本性问题——自动驾驶车辆能否适应城市街道?位于牛津的Oxbotica研发了该车软件,该公司正努力提高自动驾驶车辆追踪行走和骑车的人以及其他非车辆主体的能力。

While autonomous cars on larger urban highways should be able to move closer together by communicating with each other, performance on city streets will depend on how well they can navigate around non-mechanised obstacles.

尽管在更宽阔的城市公路上,自动驾驶车辆能够通过相互沟通在行驶时贴得更近,它们在城市街道上的表现将取决于它们能否很好地避开非机械化障碍物。

Nick Reed, who is in charge of the Greenwich experiment for TRL, hopes it will be more pleasant for passengers to share space with autonomous vehicles than human-driven cars. Unlike people, they behave predictably and will be programmed to travel as safely as possible. “That could be a transformational change,” he says.

TRL负责格林威治项目的尼克?里德(Nick Reed)希望,对乘客而言,共享自动驾驶车辆将比共享人类驾驶的车辆更舒服。和人类司机不同,自动驾驶车辆的行为是可以预测的,而且会被设定为尽可能安全地驾驶。“这可能会是一个彻底的改变,”他说。

Nevertheless, dense cities will still need high-capacity, fast public transport networks such as metros. The most significant autonomous technology development in Greenwich in recent years has arguably been new signalling on the Jubilee Tube line that allows trains to run faster and closer together, largely without drivers’ intervention.

无论如何,更稠密的城市依然需要大运力的高速公共交通系统,比如地铁。伦敦地铁Jubilee线的新信号系统可以说是近年来格林威治最重大的自动技术开发项目,该系统能让列车行驶速度更快、运行间距更小,而且基本不需要司机介入。

It is no coincidence that the Greenwich pod stops at several public transport hubs, including the Jubilee Line’s North Greenwich station. The hope is that such automated systems may in time provide more efficient, cost-effective links to public transport networks than are possible at present.

格林威治的自动驾驶小车在Jubilee地铁线的北格林威治(North Greenwich)站等几个公共交通枢纽停靠,是有意为之。人们希望,假以时日,这样的自动化系统能够扩宽现有的可能性,以更高效、更节约成本的方式连接起各公共交通网络。

Chris Joyce, head of surface access for Heathrow, which uses autonomous shuttles to link a car park to Terminal 5, says that such uses of technology can help to shift transport in developed countries away from dependence on private cars.

希斯罗机场地面交通接驳事务主管克里斯?乔伊斯(Chris Joyce)表示,使用这种技术有助于减轻发达国家交通中对私家车的依赖。希斯罗利用自动驾驶摆渡车在停车场和5号航站楼之间接送乘客。

But the shift has to be made on the basis of “right vehicle for the right journey”. Some trips will remain too inconvenient to be shifted to even the most efficient public transport. “Just moving everybody on to public transport isn’t the solution, just as moving everybody on to autonomous vehicles isn’t the solution,” he says.

但这种转变必须建立在“根据行程选择合适车辆”的基础上。有一些行程,即使是改为采用最高效的公共交通,也依然会太不方便。“一股脑把所有人转到公共交通上不是解决之道,就像把所有人都转到自动驾驶车辆上不是解决之道一样,”他说。

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