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SW电子官网开户 Waymo迎来第1000名网约车用户

CEO约翰·克拉夫西克称这是举有里程碑意义的一刻。

美国的第一家无人驾驶出租车服务公司花了6个月的时间才迎来了第1000个顾客。这个迹象也表明,虽然一些公司正在围绕无人驾驶技术打造业务,但它的增长却可能非常缓慢。

Alphabet旗下的无人驾驶汽车公司Waymo上周二宣布,它的网约车服务终于在凤凰城郊区迎来了自己的第1000名顾客。该公司CEO约翰·克拉夫西克称这是举有里程碑意义的一刻,同时表示,该公司将允许亚利桑那州的部分Lyft用户使用Waymo的网约车服务。Waymo目前是唯一一家在公共道路上运载付费用户的无人驾驶公司,不过很多时候,它的无人驾驶汽车还是受人类安全员监控的。

1000名顾客的成绩,既奠定了Waymo在无人驾驶领域的早期领军者地位,也突显了该行业发展步伐的缓慢。作为有人驾驶网约车的市场领军者,Uber在全球 拥有9000多万名用户。

Waymo从2017年4月开始接受乘客,一开始Waymo采取了免费试用政策,然后从去年12月开始允许少量付费用户使用。乘客必须居住在服务区里——这个区域大约有100平方英里,包括钱德勒和凤凰城东南的梅萨、吉尔伯特和坦佩等地的部分区域。此外,他们还得申请到一张Waymo的邀请函才能报名。

目前,由Waymo改装的克莱斯勒太平洋面包车在该地区已经是司空见惯了。在上月底的一次演示中,Waymo的两名媒体官员和安全员用手机APP召唤来了一辆无人驾驶出租车,靠边停在了钱德勒图书馆附近的一个小巷里。一名Waymo的员工设定了目的地——4英里外一家商场的梅西百货。

在乘客上车时,安全员将双手放在膝盖上,一言不发。他面前的方向盘上写着一句警告信息:“不要触碰方向盘或踏板。”如果他这样做了,面包车就会靠边停车。

在长度为8英里的往返行程中,无人汽车驾驶得很平稳,遇到红灯会停车,加速减速也很均匀。左转、会车等都是在无保护的情况下完成的。在右转时,车子会慢慢向前挪动汇入车流。如果不是亲眼看见没有人握着方向盘,任谁都猜不到这是一辆无人驾驶汽车。

无人驾驶汽车与有人驾驶汽车最明显的区别,就是Waymo的机器人程序会不厌其烦地提示车辆变道信息。

Waymo这一路的表现虽然堪称完美,但也有几点是需要注意的。一是Waymo选择的时间是春天的一个晴朗的工作的上午,视线和路况都很好;二是它选择的路线基本上都是宽阔的马路,而且最高限速不超过每小时45英里。在叫车前,Waymo的工作人员走了好几个街区,从一条繁忙的街道走到图书馆旁一条冷冷清清的小巷。这一路的交通都很顺畅,行人也非常少。最令人意外的情况,也只是路上靠边停了一辆卡车,但它旁边也有两个锥形的交通路标保护着。

安全员仍然是无人驾驶汽车的“可靠配置”之一。31岁的钱德勒居民阿德里安娜·穆尼奥斯从去年8月份起成为了Waymo的用户,她表示:“驾驶座那里总是坐着一个人,有时副驾驶上还有一个人。我期待着有一天,我进去之后,发现车里一个人也没有,那就太酷了。”

到目前为止,穆尼奥斯已经乘坐Waymo的无人驾驶汽车出行了15次,包括跟儿子一起乘坐Waymo去过星巴克、健身房和餐馆。在工作日的时候,她一般自己开车去凤凰城上班,只有周末在服务区范围内活动时才会乘坐Waymo。她觉得Waymo的驾驶风格跟自己很像:“Waymo变道时会保持比较长的安全车距,如果换成是驾驶风格更激进的司机,可能一打方向盘就拐过去了。”

在穆尼奥斯眼中,笼罩在无人驾驶技术上的神秘光环已经开始消退了。不过这或许也恰恰证明了Waymo正在潜移默化进入亚利桑那人的生活。她表示:“我坐车的时候大多数时间都在打电话,它无非只是一辆带我去某个地方的汽车而已。”(SW电子开户中文网)

译者:朴成奎

The first major self-driving taxi service needed six months to reach 1,000 customers, another sign that growth may be slow as companies try to build businesses around autonomous vehicles.

Waymo, the self-driving project owned by Alphabet, announced on Tuesday that it has enrolled 1,000 customers for its ride-hailing service in suburban Phoenix. Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik touted the milestone while revealing plans to allow select Lyft users in Arizona to hail Waymo taxis. The Google off-shoot is currently the only self-driving company carrying paying customers on public roads, although often monitored by human safety drivers.

Crossing the 1,000 rider mark both solidifies Waymo’s status as the early leader in the autonomous race and underscores the plodding pace of advancement in the industry. Uber, the market leader in ride-hailing with human drivers, counts more than 90 million users worldwide.

Waymo began accepting passengers in April 2017, part of a free-to-use pilot program, and allowed access to a limited number of paying customers last December. Riders have to live in the service area—roughly 100-square miles including Chandler and parts of Mesa, Gilbert, and Tempe southeast of Phoenix—and apply for an invite from Waymo in order to enroll.

By now, the sight of Waymo’s retrofitted Chrysler Pacifica minivans has become commonplace in the area. In a demo late last month, with two Waymo press officials and a safety driver on hand, a robotaxi summoned by the app pulled over in a cul-de-sac near the Chandler library. A Waymo employee selected for the destination a Macy’s store at a mall, about four miles away.

The safety driver sat wordlessly, hands in his lap, as the passengers boarded. “Do not touch the steering wheel or pedals,” read a message on the wheel in front of him. If he did, the text warned, the van would pull over.

The robot drove smoothly during an eight-mile round trip, stopping at red lights, changing speeds evenly, and completing unprotected left turns and merges. The software nudged its way forward before making a right turn into traffic. Anyone who couldn’t see the untouched steering wheel might not have guessed that it was a self-driving car.

The most obvious difference from a human driver? The Waymo robot unfailingly announced lane changes.

The flawless performance comes with caveats: Waymo picked the time (mid-morning on a sunny weekday in spring) and the trip (a straight shot on wide avenues with maximum speeds of 45 miles per hour). Before hailing the car, the Waymo handler walked a couple blocks from a busy street to the little-used library cul-de-sac. Traffic was light throughout, and there were very few pedestrians. The closest thing to a surprise was a truck on the side of the road protected by a pair of traffic cones.

Safety drivers continue to be a reliable presence. “I’ve always had somebody in the driver’s seat, and then sometimes we’ll have an additional person [on the passenger side],” said Adriana Munoz, a 31-year-old Chandler resident who has been a Waymo rider since last August. “I’m looking forward to that time where I can just get in and there’s no one there. That’d be really cool.”

Munoz, who was made available for an interview by Waymo, has taken about 15 trips so far, going to Starbucks, the gym, and restaurants with her son. She commutes in her own car to Phoenix daily and prefers Waymo on weekends, for trips within the service area. The driving, she said, is mostly similar to her own: “They find that good open gap versus maybe somebody that’s more of an aggressive driver would actually take that left-hand turn.”

Perhaps the greatest testament to Waymo’s progress in Arizona is that, for Munoz, the magic of self-driving has already begun to fade. “Most of the time, I’m on my phone,” she said. “It’s just a car taking me someplace.”

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