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 本文摘要:MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google, a leader in efforts to create driverless cars, has run into an odd safety conundrum: humans.加利福尼亚州山景城——作为无人驾驶汽车研发领域的领头羊,谷歌(Google)遇上了一个怪异的安全性难题:人类。


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google, a leader in efforts to create driverless cars, has run into an odd safety conundrum: humans.加利福尼亚州山景城——作为无人驾驶汽车研发领域的领头羊,谷歌(Google)遇上了一个怪异的安全性难题:人类。Last month, as one of Google’s self-driving cars approached a crosswalk, it did what it was supposed to do when it slowed to allow a pedestrian to cross, prompting its “safety driver” to apply the brakes. The pedestrian was fine, but not so much Google’s car, which was hit from behind by a human-driven sedan.上月,当谷歌的一辆自动驾驶汽车回到人行横道前时,它像设想的那样减慢速度让一名行人先行,促成“安全性驾驶员”启动刹车。那个行人没人,但谷歌那辆车却没有那么幸运地。

它被后面的一辆由人驾驶员的轿车追撞了。Google’s fleet of autonomous test cars is programmed to follow the letter of the law. But it can be tough to get around if you are a stickler for the rules. One Google car, in a test in 2009, couldn’t get through a four-way stop because its sensors kept waiting for other (human) drivers to stop completely and let it go. The human drivers kept inching forward, looking for the advantage — paralyzing Google’s robot.按照设计,谷歌的自动测试车会严格遵守法律条文。


但其他司机仍然在向前蹭,找寻不利时机。这种情况让谷歌的机器人陷于了中断。It is not just a Google issue. Researchers in the fledgling field of autonomous vehicles say that one of the biggest challenges facing automated cars is blending them into a world in which humans don’t behave by the book. “The real problem is that the car is too safe,” said Donald Norman, director of the Design Lab at the University of California, San Diego, who studies autonomous vehicles.这某种程度是谷歌面对的问题。

自动化车辆这一新兴领域的研究人员称之为,自动车面对的仅次于挑战之一是让它们带入一个人类不照章行事的世界。“确实的问题是,这些车太执着安全性了,”研究自动车辆的加州大学圣迭戈分校设计实验室(Design Lab at the University of California, San Diego)主任唐纳德·诺曼(Donald Norman)说道。“They have to learn to be aggressive in the right amount, and the right amount depends on the culture.”“它们得学会有助于强硬态度,而什么叫作有助于则各不相同有所不同的文化。”Traffic wrecks and deaths could well plummet in a world without any drivers, as some researchers predict. But wide use of self-driving cars is still many years away, and testers are still sorting out hypothetical risks — like hackers — and real world challenges, like what happens when an autonomous car breaks down on the highway.正如一些研究人员应验的那样,世界上如果没驾驶员,交通事故导致的死伤不会大大减少。


然而,普遍用于自动驾驶汽车仍是多年后的事,测试人员仍在应付像黑客这种假设的风险和现实世界里的挑战,比如自动驾驶车辆在公路上出故障了应当怎么办。For now, there is the nearer-term problem of blending robots and humans. Already, cars from several automakers have technology that can warn or even take over for a driver, whether through advanced cruise control or brakes that apply themselves. Uber is working on the self-driving car technology, and Google expanded its tests in July to Austin, Tex.目前,让机器人和人类同时上路这个问题更加严峻。多家汽车生产商的车辆早已掌控了警告或是替换驾驶员的技术,不管是通过先进设备的巡弋掌控,还是可以自行启动的刹车。

Uber正在研发自动驾驶汽车技术,谷歌也于今年7月把测试扩展到了德克萨斯州的奥斯汀。Google cars regularly take quick, evasive maneuvers or exercise caution in ways that are at once the most cautious approach, but also out of step with the other vehicles on the road.谷歌汽车一般来说不会很快采行规避操作者,或是慎重行事。后者立刻不会变为最慎重的应付方式,但同时也将造成与路上其他车辆格格不入。

“It’s always going to follow the rules, I mean, almost to a point where human drivers who get in the car and are like ‘Why is the car doing that?’” said Tom Supple, a Google safety driver during a recent test drive on the streets near Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters.“它总有一天都会遵守规则,我是说道,完全到了躺在车里的人类驾驶员不会想要‘这车干嘛那么做到?’的地步,”汤姆·苏普莱(Tom Supple)说道。最近,谷歌在其坐落于硅谷的总部附近的街道上展开了一次试驾,而苏普莱正是当时的安全性驾驶员。Since 2009, Google cars have been in 16 crashes, mostly fender-benders, and in every single case, the company says, a human was at fault. This includes the rear-ender crash on Aug. 20, and reported this morning by Google. The Google car slowed for a pedestrian, then the Google employee manually applied the brakes. The car was hit from behind, sending the employee to the emergency room for mild whiplash.自2009年以来,谷歌汽车再次发生了16次爆胎事故,大部分是严重撞击。


接下来,车子被追撞,造成此人因颈椎严重伤势而入了急诊室。Google’s report on the incident adds another twist: While the safety driver did the right thing by applying the brakes, if the autonomous car had been left alone, it might have braked less hard and traveled closer to the crosswalk, giving the car behind a little more room to stop. Would that have prevented the collision? Google says it’s impossible to say.谷歌有关这起事故的报告说明了了另一个问题:尽管安全性驾驶员启动刹车的不道德是准确的,但如果让自动汽车独自一人行经,它的刹车力度有可能会那么强劲,因此不会行经到离人行横道更加将近的地方,给后车腾出略为多一点的刹车空间。

这样能避免爆胎吗?谷歌回应不得而知获知。There was a single case in which Google says the company was responsible for a crash. It happened in August 2011, when one of its Google cars collided with another moving vehicle. But, remarkably, the Google car was being piloted at the time by an employee. Another human at fault.谷歌称之为,只有一次爆胎事故责任在自己身上。那是2011年8月,谷歌的一辆车与另一辆正在行经中的车撞。



On a recent outing with New York Times journalists, the Google driverless car took two evasive maneuvers that simultaneously displayed how the car errs on the cautious side, but also how jarring that experience can be. In one maneuver, it swerved sharply in a residential neighborhood to avoid a car that was poorly parked, so much so that the Google sensors couldn’t tell if it might pull into traffic.前不久载有着《纽约时报》的记者上下班时,谷歌的无人驾驶车采行的两次拐弯操作者,既表明出有了它因过分慎重而错误的情形,也指出了那种经历不会令人多么恼怒。一个操作者是,它为了避免一辆车而在一个住宅区急转弯。那辆车停车得很差劲,实在太谷歌的传感器无法辨识它不会会进到车道上来。

More jarring for human passengers was a maneuver that the Google car took as it approached a red light in moderate traffic. The laser system mounted on top of the driverless car sensed that a vehicle coming the other direction was approaching the red light at higher-than-safe speeds. The Google car immediately jerked to the right in case it had to avoid a collision. In the end, the oncoming car was just doing what human drivers so often do: not approach a red light cautiously enough, though the driver did stop well in time.对车里的乘客来说,车子行经到一处红灯前时采行的操作者堪称令人气恼。当时,车流量科中等。加装在那辆无人驾驶车顶部的激光系统检测到,反方向的一辆车正在以低于安全性水平的车速朝着红灯出去。


Courtney Hohne, a spokeswoman for the Google project, said current testing was devoted to “smoothing out” the relationship between the car’s software and humans. For instance, at four-way stops, the program lets the car inch forward, as the rest of us might, asserting its turn while looking for signs that it is being allowed to go.谷歌无人驾驶车项目的发言人考特妮·霍恩(Courtney Hohne)说道,当前的测试是为了“理顺”车的软件和人之间的关系。比如,在十字路口,程序容许车像我们其他人可能会做到的那样,渐渐向前蹭,在找寻其他车让自己过的迹象时冷静弯道。

The way humans often deal with these situations is that “they make eye contact. On the fly, they make agreements about who has the right of way,” said John Lee, a professor of industrial and systems engineering and expert in driver safety and automation at the University of Wisconsin.威斯康星大学(University of Wisconsin)的工业与系统工程教授、驾驶员安全性与自动化问题专家约翰·李(John Lee)说道,遇上这种情况时,人类一般来说不会“展开眼神交流。在前进中,他们不会对谁有先行权达成协议”。

“Where are the eyes in an autonomous vehicle?” he added.“那么自动车辆的眼睛在哪里呢?”他接下来问道。