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作者: 来源: 日期:2016-10-31 8:50:03

Driverless cars will change everything





Your next car might drive itself. “The technology is essentially here,” Barack Obama told Wired magazine this month. Robin Chase, the transportation entrepreneur who co-founded Zipcar, reckons driverless cars are “three-and-a-quarter years away”. Yet we have barely begun to think about how they will revolutionise our lives, revamp our cities — and destroy tens of millions of jobs.

你的下一辆汽车或许会是自动驾驶汽车。巴拉克•奥巴马(Barack Obama)本月向《连线》(Wired)杂志表示:“这项技术已经基本成熟。”交通运输企业家、Zipcar的联合创始人罗宾•蔡斯(Robin Chase)认为,无人驾驶汽车“再有三年零三个月就会来临”。然而,我们几乎还没有开始考虑它们将如何革命性地改变我们的生活、我们的城市,以及摧毁数千万就业岗位。广州汽车翻译公司。


After years of trials on city streets, driverless vehicles are now nearing the live phase. Last month, a driverless bus began carrying passengers through Lyon, France. Most in the automobile industry think self-driving vehicles will be on the road by 2020 or before, says Richard Holman, head of foresight and trends at General Motors.

在城市街道上试运行多年之后,无人驾驶汽车现在已快要进入实际应用阶段。上月,法国里昂开始使用无人驾驶公交车运送乘客。通用汽车(General Motors)的预见和趋势主管理查德•霍尔曼(Richard Holman)表示,大部分汽车业内人士认为无人驾驶汽车将在2020年乃至更早的某个时间上路。


Driverless cars will initially coexist with human-driven cars. But the first places where they will become dominant are dense urban areas — precisely the spots most damaged by the automobile age. This is “a chance to have a do-over for cities,” Chase told this month’s Autonomy conference in Paris. Many advanced cities are already reducing the role of cars. Driverless cars will hasten that process.



Cities don’t want everyone to own their own driverless car. That would prolong congestion, and isn’t necessary anyway. A driverless car is the perfect cheap taxi — it can drop you at work, and then go off to collect somebody else. If you still insist on driving your own car, cities will probably charge you for the privilege: motoring will become a luxury, like owning and flying your own plane. Driverless cars could allow cities to cut vehicle numbers by about 90 per cent while transporting the same number of people. They will bring us enormous benefits:



Driverless cars will reduce accidents by around 90 per cent, predicts Pascal Demurger, director-general of French insurer MAIF. That’s big — the annual death toll on the world’s roads is about 1.2 million a year, or double the toll from armed conflict and homicides combined.

法国保险公司MAIF总经理帕斯卡尔•德米尔热(Pascal Demurger)预计,无人驾驶汽车将让事故量下降90%左右。这非常了不起——全球每年有约120万人死于交通事故,两倍于死于武装冲突和凶杀的人数之和。广州汽车翻译公司。


Pollution and carbon emissions will drop, because urban driverless cars will be electric.



The old, the disabled and teenagers will suddenly gain mobility.



People will save fortunes by ditching their cars. The average cost of owning a car in Europe is about €6,000 a year, says Chase. If you think personal cars will survive as status symbols, remember that horses were once status symbols.



Driverless cars will hardly ever need to park, and certainly not in city centres. Cities can therefore convert parking spaces — where many cars now sit for the vast majority of their lives — into bike lanes or parks.



Congestion will diminish, as driverless cars can drive in dense packs, won’t get lost and won’t have to circle around looking for parking.



Police will no longer pull over black drivers — or indeed any drivers.



Once driverless cars spread beyond urban centres, the tedium of commutes will go. “You can use your car for eating, working, sleeping, kissing,” Carlo Ratti, head of MIT’s Senseable City Lab, told the Autonomy conference.

一旦无人驾驶汽车推广至城市中心以外,通勤将不再乏味。麻省理工学院智慧城市实验室(MIT Senseable City Lab)负责人卡洛•拉蒂(Carlo Ratti)表示:“你可以在车上吃饭、工作、睡觉和接吻。”


On the other hand, driverless cars will bring catastrophe. The best thing about the automobile age was that it employed tens of millions of people to make, market, insure and drive vehicles. Over the next 20 years, the mostly low-skilled men who now drive trucks, taxis and buses will see their jobs decimated. Instead of taxi drivers setting Uber cars on fire, we could see taxi and Uber drivers get together to set driverless cars on fire. If you thought Donald Trump was bad, wait for the next wave of male losers from modernity.

另一方面,无人驾驶汽车将会带来灾难。汽车时代最大的好处是,它为数千万人提供了汽车制造、营销、保险和驾驶方面的就业机会。在未来20年,现在开卡车、出租车和公交车的那些人(大部分为低技能劳动者)将失去饭碗。我们可能会看到出租车和优步(Uber)司机们联合起来放火焚烧无人驾驶汽车,而不是出租车司机烧优步汽车。如果你认为唐纳德•特朗普(Donald Trump)很糟糕,那么等着看下一波现代化浪潮带来的男性输家吧。广州汽车翻译公司。


Or think of insurers, many of whom now get about half their revenues from automobile insurance. Warren Buffett, whose company Berkshire Hathaway owns the auto insurers Geico, says that anything that sharply reduces traffic accidents “would be wonderful. But we would not be holding a party at our insurance company.” Demurger muses, “We could almost become an insurer without insurance.” Governments and cities, too, will lose revenues from parking, speeding fines and petrol taxes.

或者想想保险公司吧,许多保险公司现在一半收入来自汽车保险业务。沃伦•巴菲特(Warren Buffett)表示,任何大幅降低交通事故的事情“都将是极好的。但我们不会在我们的保险公司开派对来庆祝”。巴菲特的伯克希尔哈撒韦公司(Berkshire Hathaway)拥有汽车保险公司Geico。德米尔热沉吟道,我们“可能几乎会成为没有保险的保险公司”。政府和城市也将失去停车、超速罚款和汽油税的收入。


Carmakers are especially scared. The few cars of the future might be made by tech companies such as Apple, Baidu and Google. Imagine the impact on Germany, where the automotive sector is the largest industry.



There may be a clash ahead between mostly European car companies and American tech companies. The carmakers want people to keep buying and driving their own cars, albeit with new technological aids. By contrast, the tech companies will lobby governments to favour driverless cars.



Dramatic change is coming, but governments have barely begun thinking about it. Obama is a rare politician even to have mentioned self-driving cars. Only 6 per cent of the biggest US cities have factored them into their long-term planning. Driverless cars could arrive by 2020, but most mayors and transport ministers are preoccupied with next week.



A decade ago hardly anyone saw the smartphone coming. It has brought an epidemic of mass addiction. Let’s hope we do a better job of handling the driverless car.