每日新闻更新 - 自动驾驶汽车 The Daily Update - Autonomous vehicles

根据美国货运协会的报告,美国货运行业就业人数超过850万人,其中近350万是卡车司机。卡车驾驶工作在美国就业市场中占据非常重要的地位,卡车司机在美国的29个州中是最常见的岗位。然而,随着自动驾驶车辆的诞生,有预测认为未来20年里,很多该行业的驾驶员将被取代,产生大量待业蓝领工人。当然,不只是卡车司机面临就业威胁,美国高速公路卡车驿站沿线数百万的工作岗位也将面临挑战。

戴姆勒型号为Freightliner Inspiration的卡车成为全球首辆获得审核的自动驾驶商用卡车,可在美国公共高速公路上行使,这让卡车司机的噩梦离现实更近了一步。目前,戴姆勒卡车属于Level 3级别的自动驾驶车辆,这意味着它可以在高速公路驾驶员模式下,在美国高速公路上行驶。然而,它还需要一位驾驶员处理驾驶过程的其他事情。九月份,美国众议院一致通过一项推进无人驾驶汽车的法案,并禁止各州阻碍自动驾驶车辆的发展。然而,这一措施仅适用于价值在10000英镑以上的车辆,目前不包括大型商用卡车。如果汽车制造商可以证明其自动驾驶汽车同人工驾驶车辆一样安全,按照该计划的阶段性要求,每位制造商即可在第一年销售15000辆无人驾驶车辆,头三年最多销售80000辆,从第4年开始不再有销售上限。

使该法案将车辆限定在价值10000英镑以上的范围,是国际卡车司机协会联盟争取的结果。该联盟有140万会员,包括60万卡车司机。James P. Hoffa担任该协会会长长达18年,他“很担心高速公路安全问题,还有就业问题,认为我们在一个非常非常有战略性的领域内迈步太快,我们必须确保所做的一切是正确的,因为这涉及到生命安全。”Hoffa表示该协会并非要阻碍技术进步,“很显然,我们不能阻止进步,但车辆不是小玩意,它涉及到安全问题,这跟通用汽车的生产线不是一回事。”说到安全问题,他的言论有待商榷,毕竟美国94%的撞车事件是由于人的失误。如果抹去这个庞大额数据,每年道路死亡人数就可以大幅度减少35000。

当然,对汽车制造商来说,越多的自动驾驶车辆上路,他们就能收集到越多的数据,进而更好地改善技术。以航天业为例,几年前引擎制造商劳斯莱斯及其竞争对手引入了全方位护理服务,他们可以借此监控运行中的引擎。当前期引入时,长途航班的引擎性能信息只能传输两次,现在该信息每2.5秒就发送一次。一旦硅谷和主要车辆制造商开始下大力气提高运输行业的自动驾驶技术,再加上政府的宣传,无人汽车的普及基本就所向披靡了。

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