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全新版大学英语综合教程第四册Unit 2A

Smart cars that can see,hear,feel,smell,and talk?And drive on their own?This may sound like a dream,but the computer revolution is set to turn it into a reality.

能看、能听、有直觉、有嗅觉、会说话的智能汽车?还能自动驾驶?这听起来或许跟做梦一样,但计算机革命正在努力把这一切变为现实。

SMART CARS

1. Even the automobile industry,which has remained largely unchanged for the last seventy years,is about to feel the effects of the computer revolution.

即使是在过去70年中基本上没发生多少变化的汽车工业,也将感受到计算机革命的影响。

2. The automobile industry ranks as among the most lucrative and powerful industries of the twentieth century.There are presently 500 million cars on earth,or one car for every ten people.Sales of the automobile industry stand at about a trillion dollars,making it the world`s biggest manufacturing industry.

汽车工业是20世纪最赚钱、最有影响力的产业之一。目前世界上有5亿辆车,平均每10人就有1辆。汽车工业的销售总额达一万亿美元左右,从而成为世界上最大的制造业。

3. The car,and the roads it travesl on,will be revolutionized in the twentyfirst centy.The key to tomorrow`s "smart cars"will be sensors."We`ll see vehivles and roads that see and hear and feel and smell and talk and act,"predicts Bill Spreitzer,technical director of General Motors Corporation`s ITS program,which is designing the smart car and road of the future.

汽车极其行驶的道路,在21世纪将发生巨变。未来“智能汽车”的关键在于传感器。“我们会见到能看、能听、有知觉、有嗅觉、会说话并能采取行动的智能车辆与道路,”正在设计未来智能汽车和智能道路的通用汽车公司ITS项目的技术主任比尔斯普雷扎预言道。

4. Approximately 40,000 people are killed each year in the United States in traffic accidents is so vast that we don`t even bother to mention them in the newspapers anymore.Fully half of these fatalities come from drunk drivers,and many others from carelessness.A smart car could eliminate most of these car accidents.It can sense if a driver is drunk via electronic sensors that can pick up alcohol vapor in the air,and refuse to start up the engine.The car could also alert the police and provide its precise location if it is stolen.

美国每年大约有4万人死于交通事故。在汽车事故中伤亡的人数太多,我们已经不屑在报纸上谈及。这些死亡事故中至少有半数是酒后开车者造成的,另有许多事故是驾驶员疏忽大意所致。智能汽车能消除绝大多数这类汽车事故。它能通过会感测空气中的酒精雾气的电子传感器检测司机是否喝醉酒,并拒绝启动引擎。这种车还能在遇窃后报警,并告知警方车辆的确切地点。

5. Smart cars have already been built which can monitor one`s driving and the driving conditions nearby.Small radars hidden in the bumpers can scan for nearby cars.Should you make a serious driving mistake(e.g.,change lanes when there is a car in yourF"blind spot")the computer would sound an immediate warning.

能控制行车过程及感知周围行车状况的智能汽车已经制造出来。藏在保险杠里的微型雷达能对周围的汽车做扫描。如果你发生重大行车失误(如变道时有车辆在你“盲点”内),计算机会立即发出警报。

6. At the MIT Media Lab,a prototype is already being built which will determine how sleepy you are as you drive,which is especially important for long-distance truck drivers.The monotonous,almost hypnotic process of staring at the center diveder for long hours is a grossly underestimated,lifethreatening hazard.To eliminate this,a tiny camera hidden in the dashboard can be trained on a driver`s face and eyes.If the driver`s eyelids close for a certain length of time and his or her driving becomes erratic,a computer in the dashboard could alert the driver.

在麻省理工学院的媒介实验室,已制造出能测知司机开车时有多少睡意的样车,这对长途卡车司机来说意义十分重大。一连数小时注视着中央分道线这样一个单调、几乎能催眠的过程是被严重低估的威胁生命的重大隐患。为消除这一隐患,藏在仪表板里的一架微型相机可对准司机的面部及眼睛。如果司机的眼睛闭上一定时间,行车变得不稳,仪表板里的计算机就会向司机发出警报。

7. Two of the most frustrating things about driving a car are getting lost and getting stuck in traffic.While the computer revolution is unlikely to cure these problems,it will have a positive impact.Sensors in your car tuned to radio signals from orbiting satellites can locate your car precisely at any moment and warn of traffic jams.We already have twenty-four Navstar satellites orbiting the earth,making up what is called the Global Positioning System.They make it possible to determine your location on the earth to within about a hundred feet.At any given time,there are several GPS satellites orbiting overhead at a distance of about 11,000 miles.Each satellite contains four"atomic clocks,"which vibrate at a precise frequency,according to the laws of the quantum theory.

开车最让人头疼的两大麻烦是迷路和交通阻塞。虽然计算机革命不可能从根本上解决这两个问题,但却会带来积极的作用。机车上与绕轨道运行的卫星发车的无线电信号调谐的传感器能随时精确地确定汽车的方位,并告知交通阻塞情况。我们已经有24颗环绕地球运行的导航卫星,组成了人们所说的全球卫星定位系统。通过这些卫星我们有可能以小于100英尺的误差确定你在地球上的方位。在任何时间,总有若干颗全球定位系统的卫星在11000英里的高空围绕地球运行。每颗卫星都装有4个“原子钟”,他们能根据量子理论法则,以精确的频率振动。

8. As a satellite passes overhead,it sends out a radio signal that can be detected by a receiver in a car`s computer.The car`s computer can then calculate how far the satellite is by measuring how long it took for the signal to arrive.Since the speed of light is well known,any delay in receiving the satellite`s signal can be converted into a distance.

卫星从空中经过时会发出能被汽车上计算机里的接收器辨认的无线电信号。汽车上的计算机会根据信号传来花费的时间计算出卫星的距离。由于光速广为人知,接受卫星信号时的任何时间迟缓都能折算出距离的远近。

9. In Japan there are already over a million cars with some type of navigational capability.(Some of them locaste a car`s position by correlating the rotations in the steering wheel to its position on a map.)

在日本,具有特定导航能力的汽车已经有一百万辆之多。(有些导航装置通过将方向盘的转动与汽车在地图上的位置并置来测定汽车的方位。)

10. With the price of microchips dropping so drastically,future applications of GPS are virtually limitless."The commercial industry is poised to explode,"says Randy Hoffman of Magellan Systems Corp.,which manufactures navigational systems.Blind individuals coule use GPS sensors in walking sticks,airplanes could land by remote control,hikers will be able to locate their position in the woods-the list of potential uses is endless.

随着微芯片价格的大幅度下降,未来对全球卫星定位系统的应用几乎是无限的。“制造这一商品的工业必然会迅猛发展,”生产导航系统的麦哲伦航仪公司的兰迪 霍夫曼说。盲人可以在手杖里装配全球卫星定位系统传感器,飞机可以通过遥控着陆,徒步旅行者可以测定自己在林中的具体位置——其潜在的应用是无止境的。

11. GPS is actually but part of a larger movement,called"telematics,"which will eventually attempt to put smart cars on smart highways.Prototypes of such highways already exist in Europe,and experiments are being made in California to mount computer chips,sensors,and radio transmitters on highways to alert cars to traffic jams and obstructions.

全球卫星定位系统其实只是叫做“远程信息学”这一更大行动的一部分,这一行动最终会把智能汽车送上智能高速公路。这种高速公路的样品已经在欧洲问世,加州正在进行实验,在高速公路上安装计算机芯片、传感器和无线电发射机,以便向汽车报告交通堵塞情况。

12. On an eight-mile stretch of Interstate 15 ten miles north of San Diego,traffic engineers are installing an MIT-designed system which will introduce the "automated driver."The plan calls for computers,aided by thousands of three-inch magnetic spikes buried in the highway,to take complete control of the driving of cars on heavily trafficked roads.Cars will be bunched into groups of ten to twelve vehicles,only six feet apart,traveling in unison,and controlled by computer.

在圣迭戈以北10英里的15号州际公路一段8英里长的路面上,交通工程是正在安装一个由麻省理工学院设计的引进“自动司机”的系统。这一计划要求计算机在公路上埋设的数千个3英寸长的磁钉的协助下,在车辆极多的路段完全控制车辆的运行。车辆会以10辆或12辆为一组,车间距仅6英尺,在计算机的控制下一起行驶。

13. Promoters of this computerized highway have great hopes for its future.By 2010,telematics may well be incorporated into one of the major highways in the United States.If successful,by 2020,as the price of microchips drops to below a penny piece,telematics could be adopted in thousands of miles of highways in the United States.This could prove to be an environmental boon as well,saving fuel,reducing traffic jams,decreasing air pollution,and serving as an alternative to highway expansion.

这种计算机化公路的倡导者对其未来的应用充满信心。到2010年,远程信息技术很可能会应用于美国的一条主要公路。如果成功的话,到2020年,当微芯片的价格降到不足一美分一片时,远程信息技术就会应用在美国成千上万英里的公路上。这对环保也会很有利,可以节省燃油,减轻交通阻塞,减少空气污染,还可成为公路扩建的替代方法。
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