Hands-free on the road? 无人驾驶汽车

媒体英语会带大家一起学习 BBC 撰稿人在报道世界大事时常用到的单词和短语。

Image copyright BBC World Service
Image caption Can you picture yourself hands-free here?

看样子无人驾驶汽车的未来发展道路清晰可见。谷哥将开始制造自己最新研制的无人驾驶汽车,而不是改造其它生产商的车辆。谷哥制造的无人自动驾驶汽车只配有“启动”和“停止”两个按钮,除此之外,没有其它任何控制。以下是Theo Leggett 的报道。

Google's driverless car project was officially launched in 2010. Since then it says its test vehicles have completed more than a million kilometres on public roads. They progressed from relatively simple driving on the Californian freeway to more complicated manoeuvring in urban areas.

So far, Google has used a fleet of ordinary cars which have been converted to carry self-driving technology. But now it wants to take the process a stage further by producing a purpose-built machine. It’s planning to create a fleet of about a hundred fully autonomous electric vehicles capable of carrying two people at up to 40 km per hour without any input from a human driver.

The ultimate aim is to get rid of the controls altogether, although early versions will still need to have a steering wheel and pedals.

Google believes it will be able to launch a pilot scheme using the new cars within the next two years. But the internet giant is far from being the only company working on self-driving technology. A number of major manufacturers have their own test programmes, among them Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen and BMW.