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商业 - 汽车

科技护航:司机也能一心多用

Doron Levin 2011年07月28日

新奥迪A6具备新的安全功能,并使用了谷歌技术的导航系统。也许在将来,司机们可以安全放心地分心做别的事,把开车的工作交给电脑来做。

    是不是觉得开车的时候发短信就算是分心了?现在新奥迪A6搭载了一款增强版的导航系统,它采用了来自谷歌(Google)的技术,提供了搜索和影音播放功能,它可能使驾驶者的分心程度达到一个全新的高度。不过这个系统中也包含了一些安全措施,可以减少发生事故的可能性。

    奥迪导航系统的标准地图格式已经被替换成了谷歌地球(Google Earth)的卫星影像,而且每台轿车自带一个WiFi热点(服务由T-Mobile公司提供,每月收费30美元)。谷歌可以搜索餐厅或其它地标,然后通过汽车的导航系统提供导航。

    想知道某家汽车旅馆里是否有儿童泳池吗?只需搜索这家汽车旅店的名字即可。你还可以得知这家旅店长什么样子,它都配备了哪些功能。如果你对搜索结果感到满意,可以让导航系统为你带路。系统会自动发出一条消息,提醒你将谷歌的技术整合到导航系统中会带来哪些风险,也会提醒你它将增加驾驶时分心的可能性。

    不过奥迪还研发出了加强型的高科技安全装置,它可以降低A6轿车遭遇事故的机率,还可以增加轿车在遭遇事故时的安全系数。车上的雷达和探像头可以对车身的前后左右进行探测,看看是否有发生事故的风险。如果危险逼近,就会迅速在仪表盘上发出报警信号。“好比拍了一下你的肩膀,”一位奥迪发言人说。

    如果碰撞已经难以避免,那么在碰撞发生之前的几毫秒,安全带会收紧,车窗和天窗会自动关上。如果是后方有车要撞上来了,而且前方还有一辆车在行驶,那么轿车的软件就会自动计算是否应该进行制动,以减轻二次碰撞造成的伤害。另外除非碰撞的确发生了,否则安全气囊不会展开。

    奥迪发言人马克•丹纳克表示:“高级驾驶信息和高主动安全性这两个趋势是协同发展的。如果你把iPhone带到车里,那么你已经可以使用这些功能了。不过我们把这些功能整合进了汽车里,使它们尽可能地安全和实用。”

    “长官,电脑做到了!”

    高技信息技术正在创造出越来越多的汽车应用程序,它把汽车变成了一部安在轮子上的电脑。最终驾驶员承担的操控和驾驶任务可能会越来越少。去年谷歌就展示了一款无人驾驶汽车,它在加州的公路上自动驾驶了1,000英里,中间差不多没有出任何事故。本月早些时候,内华达州的立法委员们还通过了一项法案,授权该州的交通局起草一系列规则和标准,以规范无人驾驶汽车在州级公路上的行驶。

    沃尔沃(Volvo)也引入了一个名叫“城市安全”的系统,它可以降低因驾驶员未能及时刹车而导致低速撞车的可能性(往往是追尾)。汽车的后视镜上安装了一个激光传感器,它始终测量着汽车与前车的相对速度,如果在驾驶员在必要时未进行刹车操作,系统就会自动制动。

    汽车是否有一天会摆脱撞车梦魇的困扰?丹纳克表示:“在未来的某一时刻,这是能实现的。至于目前,我们可以提醒司机道路上是否有障碍物,并且尽量减小车祸造成的损伤。”这款配备了尖端的安全和IT功能的奥迪A6轿车起价为50,000美元左右,搭载了一款3升涡轮增压发动机。再加4,400美元,还可获赠高级礼包,其中包括谷歌地球和6个月的3G无线上网服务。

    用不了几年,新奥迪A6上的这些高级功能也会出现在平民车型上。也许有一天,我们只需在导航上设好目的地,谷歌的无人驾驶系统就会自动把我们带到那儿。不知离这一天还有多远?

    译者:朴成奎

    Think that texting while driving is a distraction? An enhanced navigation system in the new Audi A6, drawing on technology from Google (GOOG), offers search and display functions that could take driver distraction to a whole new level. But Audi is also including safety features that make the car less likely to crash.

    The standard map format on Audi's navigation has been replaced by Google Earth's satellite-photo images. And since the car serves as its own WiFi hotspot (available through a $30-a-month contract with T-Mobile), Google can search for restaurants or other landmarks, then provide guidance via the car's navigation.

    Want to know if the motel has a pool for the kids? Just search the name of the motel. You can also find out how it looks and what features if offers, and if you like what you see then tell the navigation system to guide you there. An automated message does warn the driver of the dangers of integrating Google technology into a navigation system – and the increased chance of drawing a attention away from the task of driving.

    But Audi has also developed enhanced high-tech safety features that make the A6 more difficult to crash, as well as safer in the event of an accident. Radar and cameras can detect from the front, side and rear of the A6 whether the car is in danger of a collision, and flash a warning on the dash. "A tap on the shoulder," an Audi spokesman calls it.

    Milliseconds before a collision the seat belts tense and windows close, as does the sunroof. If a collision is imminent from the rear, the car's software calculates whether to deploy the brakes in order to mitigate a second collision, if sensors show another car is ahead. The airbags still don't deploy unless there's an actual crash.

    "These two trends – advanced driver information and active safety – are developing in tandem," said Mark Dahncke, an Audi spokesman. "When you carry your iPhone in the car you have this functionality already. We integrate the features into the car to make them as safe and useful as possible."

    "Officer, the computer did it!"

    Advanced information technology is creating more and more automotive applications, turning cars into rolling computers. Eventually drivers may need to assume less responsibility for actual operation of their vehicles. Last year Google demonstrated a driver-less car that navigated 1,000 miles of California roads, more or less free of incidents. And earlier this month, legislators in Nevada passed a bill authorizing the state's Transportation Department to draw up rules and standards for driver-less cars on state roads.

    Volvo has introduced a system called "City Safety" that reduces the chance of low-speed crashes in which the driver fails to brake in time, usually causing a rear-end collision. A laser sensor mounted on the rear-view mirror constantly measures that relative speed with the vehicle ahead, ordering the brakes to apply pressure in the event that driver fails to do so.

    Might cars one day be uncrashable? "It will happen at some point," said Dahncke. "For now, we can warn the driver of any obstacle in the way and minimize the effects of a crash to some degree." Audi's cutting-edge safety and IT features come in a vehicle that starts at about $50,000 for the 3-liter turbo engine, with $4,400 extra for a premium package that includes Google Earth and six months of 3G wireless service.

    The features offered on Audi's A6 will become available on middle-of-the-road models in a few years. Who knows how long before we will be able to set the destination on our car and let Google do the rest?

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