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【卫报】优步飞行出租车,4分钟送你到目的地

 

优步这段时间日子难过,创始人被赶,还被谷歌告上法庭,说剽窃他们的无人驾驶汽车技术。不过,作为估值最高的初创公司,优步没有停止它的脚步。优步开始研究无人驾驶飞行出租车技术,准备在2020年试飞。

 

优步飞行出租车,4分钟送你到目的地

作者:Samuel Gibbs

译者:徐   唱

校对:尹子梦

词汇:王乐颖

策划:朱雨晴

 

Uber signs contract with Nasa to develop flying taxi software 

优步和NASA联合开发“飞行出租车”软件

本文选自 The Guardian | 取经号原创翻译

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Ambitious plans for electric drone-like flying cabs take step forward as Uber announces plans to test flights in LA in 2020

优步宣布将于2020年在洛杉矶试飞飞行出租车,野心勃勃的电动无人飞行出租车计划向前迈了一大步。

 

Uber has taken a step forward in its plan to make autonomous “flying taxis” a reality, signing a contract with Nasa to develop the software to manage them.

为实现计划中的自动“飞行出租车”,优步与美国国家航空航天局(以下称NASA)签约,以开发软件对这类汽车进行管理。

autonomous /ɔːˈtɒnəməs/ An autonomous country, organization, or group governs or controls itself rather than being controlled by anyone else. 自治的

 

The company’s chief product officer, Jeff Holden, announced the new service contract at Web Summit in Lisbon, alongside its intention to begin testing four-passenger, 200mph UberAir flying taxi services across Los Angeles in 2020, its second test market in the US after Dallas.

优步首席产品官杰夫·侯登在里斯本举行的2017全球网络峰会上宣布了这项新合作。他还表示优步将于2020年在洛杉矶开始测试UberAir飞行出租车服务,每车四座,时速200英里(注:320千米每小时)。洛杉矶是优步继美国达拉斯之后的第二个测试地点。

 

Uber said its flying taxi service would be purely electric and that a journey that would take 80 minutes by car in rush-hour traffic could be reduced to as little as four minutes. Uber intends to have some form of its air service operational for the 2028 LA Olympics, but experts remain sceptical as to whether autonomous flying taxis will ever become a reality.

优步表示,飞行出租车是纯电动的,在交通高峰时段,可以把原来需要80分钟的车程缩减为四分钟。优步还打算将一些飞行服务用于2028年洛杉矶奥运会,但专家对自动飞行出租车是否能成真持怀疑态度。

 

Holden said: “Doing this safely and efficiently is going to require a foundational change in airspace management technologies. Combining Uber’s software engineering expertise with Nasa’s decades of airspace experience to tackle this is a crucial step forward.”

侯登说:“为实现安全有效的运营,需要从根本上改变空域管理技术。把优步软件工程专家和NASA数十年来的空域经验相结合,是处理这个问题的关键一步。”

 

The Space Act agreement, which has been used by Nasa to contract out the development of rockets since the late 1950s, will see Uber participate in a project to develop unmanned traffic management systems as well as the low-altitude unmanned aerial systems (drones) that will be governed by it.

自上世纪50年代末起,NASA通过空间行动协议(简称SAA)对火箭的开发进行外包。现在优步加入无人驾驶交通管理系统和低空无人飞行系统(无人机)的开发项目中,也将受这份协议的制约。

contract out If a company contracts out work, they employ other companies to do it. 批给外界承办

 

Uber said it did not plan to make the drones itself, instead partnering with five manufacturers that are working on new types of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft. This year Uber hired two Nasa veterans, Mark Moore and Tom Prevot, to run its aircraft vehicle design team and its air traffic management software programme respectively.

优步表示他们不打算自己制造无人机,而是与五家正在开发新型垂直起降(VTOL)飞机的制造商合作。今年,优步聘请了两名NASA前工程师,马克·摩尔和汤姆·普雷沃,分别负责飞行器设计团队和空中交通管理软件项目。

 

Uber has also signed a deal with Sanstone Properties, which has 20 sites across the greater LA area, for plans to build “skyports” that will serve as takeoff and drop-off points for flying taxis.

优步还与Sanstone Properties签署了一项协议,该公司在大洛杉矶地区有20个站点,将建设飞行出租车起飞降落的“空中港口”。

 

Eric Garcetti, the mayor of LA, who backed Uber’s testing in the area, said: “Los Angeles has always been a place where innovators come to build new ideas that can change how we live our lives. LA is the perfect testing ground for this new technology and I look forward to seeing it grow in the coming years.”

洛杉矶市市长艾瑞克·加西提支持优步在洛杉矶进行试验,他说:“洛杉矶一直是个吸引创新者的地方,他们的新思想能够改变我们的生活方式。洛杉矶是这项新技术的完美试验场,我也期待着看到这项技术在未来几年中的发展。”

 

Kimberly Harris-Ferrante and Michael Ramsey, analysts at Gartner, said: “Flying autonomous vehicle technology is developing rapidly, but it’s likely to be more disruptive than transformational. High costs, safety concerns and regulatory burdens are likely to limit the use of this overhyped technology.”

高德纳咨询公司的分析师金佰利·哈里斯费兰特和麦克·拉姆齐说:“自动飞行汽车技术发展迅速,但比起改变,它带来的更可能是混乱。高成本、安全问题和监管上的负担很可能对使用这项言过其实的技术产生限制。”

disruptive adj. [dɪs’rʌptɪv] causing problems and preventing something from continuing in its usual way引起混乱的,扰乱性的,捣乱的

 

Such hurdles include the need for approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration for operation outside of normal aircraft corridors, which will be difficult to obtain due to stringent safety and regulation requirements.

类似的难题还有很多,比如需要美国联邦航空管理局批准飞行出租车在常规空中走廊(注:一国领空中允许他国飞机经过的区域)以外飞行,而这很难得到许可,因为需要严格的安全和管理条件。

hurdle n. /ˈhɜːdəl/ A hurdle is a problem, difficulty, or part of a process that may prevent you from achieving something. 障碍; 困难

corridor n.[‘kɒrɪdɔː]a long narrow passage on a train or between rooms in a building, with doors leading off it 通道;走廊

 

Uber has faced endless regulatory and legal battles around the world since it launched its ride-hailing services this decade, including in London where it is battling to retain its licence after having been stripped of it by city regulators over safety concerns.

由于近十年来推行的叫车服务,优步在全球面临着无止境的监管纷争和官司,在伦敦,优步正为重新取得营业执照而努力着,之前出于安全考量,伦敦监管机构扣除了优步的执照。

retain v [rɪ’teɪn] to keep something or continue to have something 保留,保有;继续拥有

 

The firm said it was attempting to change its methods, engaging with regulators in the US and Europe early to win approval for flying taxis. A senior Uber executive told Reuters the company was “very much embracing the regulatory bodies and starting very early in discussions about this and getting everyone aligned with the vision”.

优步表示他们正试着转变方法,与美国和欧洲的监管机构交涉以取得飞行出租车的经营许可。优步的一位资深主管告诉路透社,优步“非常支持监管机构,很早就与其协商此事,并使所有人都达成共识。”

embrace  v./ɪmˈbreɪs/ If you embrace a change, political system, or idea, you accept it and start supporting it or believing in it. 欣然接受; 信奉

 

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<原文链接: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/08/uber-signs-contract-nasa-develop-flying-taxi-software>

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