Hands-free on the road? 無人駕駛汽車
媒體英語會帶大家一起學習 BBC 撰稿人在報道世界大事時常用到的單詞和短語。
看樣子無人駕駛汽車的未來發展道路清晰可見。穀哥將開始製造自己最新研製的無人駕駛汽車，而不是改造其它生產商的車輛。穀哥製造的無人自動駕駛汽車只配有「啟動」和「停止」兩個按鈕，除此之外，沒有其它任何控制。以下是Theo Leggett 的報道。
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.