尾随一辆谷歌无人驾驶汽车耍耍 Watch as we follow one of Google’s new self-driving cars

尽管前段时间因为车祸问题遭致非议不断,但谷歌无人驾驶汽车研发团队依然成功从加州交管局手中拿到了公开路试的许可,目前相关试验已经全面铺开。

汽车无人驾驶技术发展这么多年,如此大规模(谷歌拥有48辆有公开路试许可的无人驾驶汽车)的测试还是头一回。谷歌对自己技术的信心有多少?群众如何看待频繁从身边飘过的无人驾驶汽车?以及路试的实际情况到底怎么样?带着这些疑问,IDG新闻的资深记者Martyn Williams“尾随”了一辆谷歌最新研发的无人驾驶汽车,并随后公开了跟拍视频。

a44b3118d09bed1b1654709c87e5573b萌萌的谷歌无人驾驶原型车

为了成功跟拍一辆无人车,Martyn一行4人在最可能遇见它们的地方——谷歌山景城总部附近,经过几个大热天的蹲点,终于成功拍到了那辆谷歌最新研发的,“两座无方向盘无制动踏板”萌萌的馒头车。对比此前谷歌主要用来调试程序的雷克萨斯SUV,可以说是向量产迈进了一大步。

Martyn表示,能逮到新款无人车的身影绝非易事。可能由于试验刚开展的原因,就连谷歌总部附近的道路上也并未见到大规模的无人车出没,而调试用的雷克萨斯倒是各种不断从身边呼啸而过。不过幸运的是,凭着多年新闻追踪的经验,Martyn还是成功「尾随」了一辆。车云菌借机从Youtube上搬运了这段视频,并就一些长期困扰广大群众的问题做出解答。

1、谷歌无人驾驶汽车路试的时候,主驾座位上有人咩?

答曰:不仅有人而且这人还必须经过专门培训,能够处理譬如车辆控制系统失灵等极端情况。所以,现在干啥都必须扯个证,随车搭乘无人驾驶测试车辆的工作人员都拥有交管局批准的上岗资格。

2、谷歌无人驾驶汽车的速度如何?

答曰:按照现有的技术水平,谷歌无人驾驶原型车还处于一个低速小菜鸟的状态,最高时速不会超过40公里/小时。当然这也是该款无人车的定位——提供低速短途通勤服务。

如果未来能够得到普及的话,每天从地铁站到家也就不用那么辛苦了。但Martyn指出,在周围车流平均速度超60公里/小时的情况下,谷歌这辆以速度40公里/小时行驶的无人车反而有点阻碍交通。虽然它会通过频闪等方式提醒周围驾驶员,但还是从一定程度上惹得其他驾驶员对此「不爽」。

3、谷歌无人驾驶汽车的开车水平如何?

答曰:从视频中不难看出,目前的驾驶策略看起来非常谨慎,以至于驾驶水平看起来像个新手。比如,双向单车道,在没有车道线的情况下,无人车倾向于开在路中间,这难免会给超车和会车的人类驾驶员带来困惑。

4、无人车的认路水平如何?

答曰:有谷歌地图和识别技术作为强大的后盾,无人车认路的水平绝对是一流的,提前预知路线,并且能够非常精确地在停止线、斑马线前面停下,然后毫无压力地从三岔路口中找到自己的目标。

google_self-driving_car_front_june_29_2015-100594374-large

除跟拍主角外,Martyn还采访了围观群众,有人表示谷歌的无人驾驶汽车走起来像他奶奶:“起步慢,不争不抢不超车”。也有人表示无人车太慢了,自己每次遇到都忍不住想超过去,因此其驾驶策略仍需改进。与网络上一些极端言论不同的是,大家纷纷对谷歌无人车上路充满了认可和期待。

的确,当一辆如此「未来」的萌车停在你面前时,开门跳进去喊一声“走起!”,绝对是一件最酷的事情了!

Google’s new self-driving cars are on public streets. After more than a year of development and testing, the test cars hit the roads around Google’s headquarters in Mountain View late last week, and I went to check them out.

The cars are a major technical leap forward from the previous-generation Lexus SUVs that Google has been using. Those were production cars with self-driving sensors and functions added, but the new cars have been designed and built from scratch by Google.

They weren’t easy to find. Perhaps because testing is so new, I only saw them four times over the course of several hours on Friday and Monday outside the Google X research division. In contrast, scores of the previous-generation Lexus SUVs came past me during the same period.

But I managed to follow one car through the neighborhood close to Google X. Traveling at a steady 25 miles per hour, it was easy to keep up with.

google self driving car front june 29 2015 MARTYN WILLIAMS
Although Google’s self-driving car drives largely on its own, it always has at least one minder ready to take the manual controls installed in the car.

Like many residential streets in Silicon Valley, the roads near Google X don’t have lane markings and have lots of street parking. There’s enough room for two cars to pass each other, but the Google car seemed to prefer driving much closer to the center of the street than a human driver might.

When it came up to an intersection, it moved a little to the right but then resumed its journey closer to the center of the street when it was through the junction. At one point, it approached a sharp curve while still toward the center of the street. An oncoming car might have had less room than usual to get by the Google car.

On a wider street without parked cars, the car did stay to the right-hand side of the road and successfully slowed to a halt almost exactly at a ‘stop’ marking on the street. Then it successfully navigated a three-way intersection and went on its way.

google self driving car three quarter june 29 2015 MARTYN WILLIAMS
Google’s self-driving car drives at a top speed of 25 mph.

While its maximum speed wasn’t a problem on residential streets, it was moving slower than the rest of the traffic as it headed down Middlefield Road on Friday. Its hazard lights almost continually flash as it drives, giving motorists a warning of its slow speed. Most simply overtook it, although it was obvious that some people slowed to get a better look at the car.

Both among neighbors I spoke to and in online comments on community message boards, many Mountain View residents seem excited that this cutting-edge research is happening in their town. Google’s project has made Northern California something of a hotspot for self-driving car tests, and nowhere are more vehicles on the road than here. A somewhat close encounter between a Google self-driving car and one from competitor Delphi set off a flurry of coverage just last week, and the details remain disputed,.

The new self-driving cars are easy to spot thanks to their distinctive styling, which most agree is cute. The all-electric vehicle is small and rounded and has a front that resembles a face. If these are part of a diabolical scheme whereby machines take over the Earth, few people will see it coming.

中文原文转载自车云网。English post is quoted from PcWorld by Martyn Williams.

 

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无人驾驶汽车研究员 半吊子摇滚混子乐手 Researcher on Intelligent Vehicle Guitarist/Singer/Rocker
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