本文摘要:Brilliant technologies transform the magical into the banal. 卓越的科技不会把神秘的东西显得平淡无奇。An idea that seems outlandish to one generation becomes commonplace to the next. 曾多次在一代人显然稀奇古怪的点子对于下一代人却显得稀松平时。


Brilliant technologies transform the magical into the banal. 卓越的科技不会把神秘的东西显得平淡无奇。An idea that seems outlandish to one generation becomes commonplace to the next. 曾多次在一代人显然稀奇古怪的点子对于下一代人却显得稀松平时。So it has been with electricity, space flight and the internet. 电力、太空航行以及互联网都是如此。So it is likely to prove with driverless cars.因此无人驾驶汽车有可能也不会如此。

The past few weeks have seen a flurry of announcements. 将近几周这个领域屡屡爆出许多消息。Singapore has launched the world’s first public trial of a robo-taxi service. 新加坡进行了全球首项无人驾驶出租车的公开发表测试。Uber and Volvo announced that they would pioneer an autonomous taxi fleet in Pittsburgh within weeks. 优步(Uber)和沃尔沃(Volvo)宣告,未来几周内,它们将首度在匹兹堡发售一支自动驾驶出租车车队。Ford said it would build its first mass-market driverless car by 2021.福特(Ford)回应,将在2021年前生产其首款面向大众市场的无人驾驶汽车。

To their backers, autonomous cars cannot arrive quickly enough. 对于支持者而言,自动驾驶汽车就越慢上路就越好。Conventional cars are inefficient, dangerous and dirty. 传统汽车陈旧、危险性且可怕。

They sit idle for 95 per cent of their lives, clogging up city streets and car parks. 它们有95%的时间在闲置,阻塞着城市街道和停车场。When moving, they smash into each other, killing 3,500 people every day around the world. 在行经中,它们不会相互撞击,全球每天有3500人杀于交通事故。Ninety per cent of accidents are caused by human error. 其中90%的事故是人为失误导致的。Cars pollute the environment, accounting for 45 per cent of oil burnt.汽车污染环境,占到石油消耗总量的45%。

The widespread adoption of fully autonomous and, still better, electric cars could therefore be a massive boon to mankind. 因此几乎自动化且质量更佳的电动汽车获得广泛应用有可能是人类的众多幸事。It could lead to a far more efficient use of resources, save many lives and reduce congestion and pollution. 这可能会带给资源的更加有效地利用、挽回很多生命并增加交通堵塞和污染。Futurologists envisage small fleets of shareable, connected cars constantly whizzing around our cities picking up passengers on demand. 按照未来学家的设想,一些由可共享的联网汽车构成的小型车队将时刻不时地绕着我们的城市狂奔,按照市场需求配备乘客。


McKinsey forecasts that 15 per cent of new cars could be fully autonomous by 2030.麦肯锡(McKinsey)预测,到2030年,15%的新车有可能构建几乎自动驾驶。But two obstacles block their widespread adoption. 但有两个障碍因素妨碍着自动驾驶汽车的普及。The first remains technological. 第一个依然是技术上的。

For all the astonishing advances made in recent years, it is phenomenally difficult to replicate humans as sensory beings.尽管最近几年这方面技术获得了难以置信的变革,但要仿效人类打造出具备感觉能力的自动驾驶系统是极为艰难的。How does a car distinguish between a plastic bag blowing across a road and a runaway dog? How does a car nudge its way through a throng of people outside a football stadium?汽车如何区分一个被风过马路的塑料袋和一条跳跃的狗?汽车如何穿越足球场外挤迫的人群?Engineers argue that the genius of self-driving cars is their connectedness. 工程师坚称,自动驾驶汽车的优势在于联网。When human drivers make a mistake the individual learns from it, says one Silicon Valley pioneer. When a self-driving car makes a mistake then every other car will learn from a mistake once an engineer has fixed it. 当人类驾驶员受罚时,这个人会借此吸取教训,一位硅谷先驱回应,当一辆自动驾驶汽车受罚时,一旦工程师修缮了这个问题,其他所有汽车都会适当改良。It is just a matter of time before our technology surpasses human capacity.科技打破人类能力只是早晚的事。

But sceptics compare autonomous car technology with Zeno’s dichotomy paradox: every leap will take us halfway to our destination without ever reaching it.但怀疑者将自动驾驶技术比作芝诺(Zeno)的二分法悖论:每一步冲刺都是向着目的地走进剩下路程的二分之一,但总有一天不有可能抵达起点。No matter how hard the technology proves, it may be the easier part of the puzzle. 不管事实证明要攻下技术有多难,它也有可能是这个难题中更为更容易的部分。A stiffer challenge remains the human. 更加不利的挑战依然是人类。

Even when manufacturers and software engineers develop fully autonomous cars in which they have total trust, it will still take many years, if not decades, for them to be freely embraced by governments and consumers.即便制造商和软件工程师研发出有他们自己几乎信任的全自动驾驶汽车,也必须花费多年、甚至几十年时间才能获得政府和消费者的放心采纳。First, there is the instinctive human resistance to handing over control to a robot, especially given fears of cyber-hacking. 首先,人类天生赞成将控制权转交机器人,特别是在担忧黑客攻击的情况下。Second, for many drivers cars are an extension of their identity, a mechanical symbol of independence, control and freedom. 其次,对于多数驾驶员而言,汽车是他们身份的伸延,是独立国家、掌控和权利的机械象征物。

They will not abandon them lightly.他们会只能舍弃汽车。Third, robots will always be held to far higher safety standards than humans. 第三,针对机器人总是要实行比人类低得多的安全性标准。They will inevitably cause accidents. 它们将不可避免的造成车祸。


They will also have to be programmed to make a calculation that could kill their passengers or bystanders to minimise overall loss of life. 它们还必需经过编程作出有可能造成乘客或行人丧生的计算出来,以将总体人员损失降到低于。This will create a fascinating philosophical sub-school of algorithmic morality. 这将引起一个有意思的关于算法道德的哲学问题。

Many of us are afraid that one reckless act will cause an accident that causes a backlash and shuts down the industry for a decade, says the Silicon Valley engineer. That would be tragic if you could have saved tens of thousands of lives a year.我们很多人担忧一个任性的不道德将造成一场事故,进而这个行业不会遭抗议并被打压10年,那位硅谷工程师回应,如果你原本可以每年挽回数万人的生命,那么这种结果将是一场悲剧。Fourth, the deployment of autonomous vehicles could destroy millions of jobs. 第四,自动驾驶汽车的用于可能会挽救数百万个低收入岗位。

Their rapid introduction is certain to provoke resistance. 这些汽车的较慢引进认同不会遭遇杯葛。There are 3.5m professional lorry drivers in the US.美国有350万名职业货车司机。Fifth, the insurance industry and legal community have to wrap their heads around some tricky liability issues. 第五,保险行业和司法界必需集中精力解决问题一些简单的责任问题。

In what circumstances is the owner, car manufacturer or software developer responsible for damage?在何种情况下,汽车所有者、汽车制造商或软件开发商要对伤害负责管理?Some governments, such as those of Singapore, China and the UK, as well as several states in the US are creating permissive regulatory and legal environments. 新加坡、中国和英国等一些国家的政府以及美国几个州正在建构严格的监管和法律环境。Regulators can certainly speed adoption by approving designated lanes for autonomous cars, for example, and devising international safety rules and standards. 监管机构毫无疑问可以加快推展自动驾驶汽车的用于,比如说通过批准后建设自动驾驶汽车专用道,以及制订国际安全性规则与标准。

Conversely, politicians may yet succumb to the pressure of public fears and vested interests and frustrate the roll out of self-driving cars.忽略,政治人士仍有可能屈服于公众忧虑以及既得利益群体的压力,妨碍自动驾驶汽车的应用于。Autonomous car visionaries may soon be able to perfect the technology. 自动驾驶汽车的梦想家们有可能迅速就能完备技术。But their success may be determined by how good they are — in Stalinist terminology — as engineers of human souls.但他们能否顺利有可能各不相同他们作为人类灵魂的工程师(用斯大林主义者的术语来说)有多杰出。