PSG 2

  Passage seven(Stricter Traffic Law can Prevent Accidents)


  Passage 2 美国高速公路发展历史

  From the health point of view we are living in a marvelous age. We
are immunized from birth against many of the most dangerous diseases. A
large number of once fatal illnesses can now be cured by modern drugs
and surgery. It is almost certain that one day remedies will be found
for the most stubborn remaining diseases. The expectation of life has
increased enormously. But though the possibility of living a long and
happy life is greater than ever before, every day we witness the
incredible slaughter of men, women and children on the roads. Man versus
the motor-car ! It is a never-ending battle which man is losing.
Thousands of people the world over are killed or horribly killed each
year and we are quietly sitting back and letting it happen。

Aside from the red emergency stop button and the top-secret display
screen that visitors may not photograph, the Cadillac SRX prototypes
being tested here look just like the production cars.

  The United States has one of the best highway systems in the world。
Interstate highways connect just about every large and mid-sized city in
the country。 Did u ever wonder why such a complete system of excellent
roads exists? For an answer, u would have to go back to the early
1920s。 In those years just after World War 1, the military wanted to
build an American highway system for national defense such a system
could if necessary move troops quickly from one area to another。 It
could also get people out of cities in danger of being bombed,
so-called roads of national importance were designated, but they were
mostly small country roads。 In 1944 Congress passed a bill to upgrade
the system but did not fund the plan right away。 In the 1950s, the
plan began to become a reality。 Over 25 billion dollars was
appropriated by Congress and construction began on about 40000 miles of
new roads。 The idea was to connect the new system to existing
expressways and freeways。 And though the system was built mostly to
make car travel easier, defense was not forgotten。 For instance,
highway overpasses had to be high enough to allow trailers carrying
military missiles to pass under them。 By 1974,this system was mostly
completed a few additional roads would come later。 Quick and easy
travel between all parts of the country was now possible。

  It has been rightly said that when a man is sitting behind a
steering wheel, his car becomes the extension of his personality. There
is no doubt that the motor-car often brings out a man’s very worst
qualities. People who are normally quiet and pleasant may become
unrecognizable when they are behind a steering-wheel. They swear, they
are ill-mannered and aggressive, willful as two-years-olds and utterly
selfish. All their hidden frustrations, disappointments and jealousies
seem to be brought to the surface by the act of driving。

Except these vehicles drive themselves.

  Questions 19 to 21 are based on the passage you have just heard。

  The surprising thing is that society smiles so benignly on the
motorist and seems to condone his behaviour. Everything is done for his
convenience. Cities are allowed to become almost uninhabitable because
of heavy tragic; towns are made ugly by huge car parks; the countryside
is desecrated by road networks; and the mass annual slaughter becomes
nothing more than a statistic, to be conveniently forgotten。

Here at its proving grounds, General Motors is working out the kinks in
the Super Cruise feature that it wants to launch by 2020 as its first
push into hands-off driving. During a recent demonstration, GM showed
journalists that the prototypes can follow the pace of traffic and
follow a lane for minutes at a time — though the driver must always be
ready to take back the wheel.

  Q19。 What does the speaker say about the American highway system。

  It is high time a world code were created to reduce this senseless
waste of human life. With regard to driving, the laws of some countries
are notoriously lax and even the strictest are not strict enough. A code
which was universally accepted could only have a dramatically beneficial
effect on the accident rate. Here are a few examples of some the things
that might be done. The driving test should be standardized and made far
more difficult than it is; all the drivers should be made to take a test
every three years or so; the age at which young people are allowed to
drive any vehicle should be raised to at least 21; all vehicles should
be put through stringent annual tests for safety. Even the smallest
amount of alcohol in the blood can impair a person’s driving ability.
Present drinking and driving laws (where they exist) should be mad much
stricter. Maximum and minimum speed limits should be imposed on all
roads. Governments should lay down safety specifications for
manufacturers, as has been done in the USA. All advertising stressing
power and performance should be banned. These measures may sound
inordinately harsh. But surely nothing should be considered as to severe
if tit results in reducing the annual toll of human life. After all, the
world is for human beings, not motor-cars。

The strategy is less bold than Google’s. The technology company
surprised the auto industry with vows that within five years, it will
have market-ready technology that can carry passengers from point A to
point B without input from a driver. GM also is not talking as big a
game as Nissan, which announced last month that by 2020 it will have a
fully self-driving car using technology called Autonomous Drive.

  Q20。 What was the original purpose of building a highway system。

  1.       The main idea of this passage is

But according to John Capp, GM’s director of global active safety, the
company sees a step-by-step approach as the best way to bring
self-driving cars to market.

  Q21。 When was the interstate highway system mostly completed。

  [A] Traffic accidents are mainly caused by motorists。

“This is about the level of functionality that we think is realistic
fairly soon,” said Capp, 49. “Maybe somebody else will solve all of the
problems inside the same window and get that to market. And that would
be remarkable.”


  [B] Thousands of people the world over are killed each year。

Capp said that by the end of the decade, GM will put the automated road
trip feature in an add-on package for a price close to the $3,000 that
Cadillac buyers already pay to outfit a car with sensors and cameras for
driver assist features.

  Q19。 演讲者对美国高速公路系统有何评论?

  [C] The laws of some countries about driving are too lax。

Luxury brands such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW are seen as being in the
lead on self-driving cars. For the 2014 model year, both companies came
out with low-speed systems meant to turn the wheel and work the pedals
in traffic jams, and within a few years they could start offering
hands-free, feet-free software that can handle highway driving.

  Q20。 建立公路系统的最初目的是什么?

  [D] Only stricter traffic laws can prevent accidents。

Richard Bishop, a Maryland-based consultant on connected cars, said a
larger automaker such as GM or Nissan could still shake up the market by
coming out with a system such as Super Cruise that will operate at a
full range of speeds on the highway.

  Q21。 州际公路系统何时大部分完工?

  2.       What does the author think of society toward motorists?

By announcing that it plans to be there by 2020, Nissan was trying to
“get into the club in a public way,” he said. “Now it seems that every
car company has to take that step, if they haven’t already.”

  PSG 3

  [A] Society smiles on the motorists。

Charles Green, an engineering specialist at GM, said the Super Cruise
team wants its feature to work up to any speed limit in the United

  Passage 3 智能方向盘

  [B] Huge car parks are built in the cities and towns。

There will be a top speed, though. “Some people will be disappointed,”
Green said.

  Texting while driving was listed as a major cause of road deaths
among young Americans back in 2013。 A recent study said that 40 percent
of American teens claimed to have been in a car when the driver used a
cell phone in a way that put people in danger。 This sounds like a
widespread disease but it‘s one that technology may now help to cure。
T.J。 Evert, a 20 –year-old inventor, has come up with a novel
solution that could easily put texting drivers on notice。 It’s called
Smart Wheel and it‘s designed to fit over the steering wheel of most
standard vehicles to track whether or not the driver has two hands on
the wheel at all times。 Evert’s invention warns the drivers with a
light and a sound when they hold the wheel with one hand only。 But as
soon as they place the other hand back on the wheel the light turns back
to green and the sound stops。 It also watches for what’s called “close
by hands” where both hands are close together near the top of the
wheel, so the driver can type with both thumbs and drive at the same
time。 All the data smart wheel collects is also sent to a connected
app, so any parents who install smart wheel can keep track of the
teen‘s driving habits。 If they try to remove or damage the cover,
that’s reported as well。

  [C] Victims of accidents are nothing。

Different visions at GM, Google

  Q22。 What is a major cause of road deaths among young Americans?

  [D] Society condones their rude driving。

GM’s preferred path to the self-driving car shows the difference between
risk-averse automakers and the sink-or-swim startup culture of Silicon

  Q23。 What is Smart Wheel?

  3.       Why does the author say:’ his car becomes the extension of
his personality?’

Most car companies preach the wisdom of going step by step on
self-driving cars, because moving too quickly would heighten the risk of
recalls and lawsuits. But top executives at Google have set the goal of
jumping straight to a car so sophisticated it could shuttle around the
blind and the elderly.

  Q24。 What happens if the driver has one hand on the wheel?

  [A] Driving can show his real self。

The two visions have made it hard to talk about the technology without
using loaded words. Some engineers and executives have begun insisting
on terms such as “piloted” instead of “autonomous” and “driverless” to
emphasize that a human will still be in control.

  Q25。 How do parents keep track of their teen‘s driving habits?

  [B] Driving can show the other part of his personality。

This year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tried to
calm the debate with a set of dry technical terms ranging from Level 0
to Level 4 automation.


  [C] Driving can bring out his character。

It cut down on misunderstandings, said Annie Lien, a former senior
engineer at Audi who oversaw an effort to program a car to drive into a
parking lot and park itself. (Lien said she prefers “automated” or
“self-driving,” though she admits to using “autonomous” on occasion
because it has gained a fair amount of popularity.)

  Q22。 美国年轻人死于道路的主要原因是什么? Q23。 什么是智能车轮?
Q24。 如果驾驶员一只手放在车轮上会发生什么? Q25。

  [D] His car embodies his temper。

Lien agrees with the automakers on the need for caution. She said moving
too quickly could leave the first self-driving cars without certain
features — such as the ability to safely pull onto the shoulder of a
highway, instead of just stopping in traffic, if a sick or sleeping
driver does not retake control.


  4.       Which of the followings is NOT mentioned as a way against
traffic accidents?

“That is a safety-critical feature that has be worked on and perfected,”
Lien said. “If you skip steps, this could be the step that you skip.”


  [A] Build more highways。

Electronic eyes


  [B] Stricter driving tests。

Getting Super Cruise software ready for market will be a big task, but
most of the necessary hardware already is in high-end GM cars.

  [C] Test drivers every three years。

A fully loaded Cadillac ATS sedan with a Driver Assistance package that
launched last year has as many as 18 electronic eyes, in the form of
sensors and cameras, Green said.

  [D] raise age limit and lay down safety specifications。

The $3,220 package in the ATS includes eight ultrasonic sensors to help
with parking — 10 if the buyer opts for another self-parking feature.
It also includes six radars to cover short, medium and long distances, a
backup camera and a camera behind the rearview mirror for lane departure
warning and forward collision warning.

  5.       The attitude of the author is

Using similar equipment for Super Cruise would reduce the feature’s
cost, making it easier to include in an add-on package. For comparison,
Google’s prototype cars use a roof-mounted lidar, or laser radar sensor,
that cost about $70,000 last year.

  [A] ironical

“To bring a $20,000 option package to the market doesn’t make sense.
We’d sell two,” Capp said. “We’d get a lot of press, and we could talk
about how we were first to do this, that and the other thing, but we
have stockholders too.”

  [B] critical

Unlike the traffic jam assist systems from BMW and Mercedes, GM’s system
will not require a driver to keep a hand on the wheel.

  [C] appealing

‘Looking for the unexpected’

  [D] militant

So engineers are coming up with ways to keep the driver engaged — and
set their product apart.


Green would not discuss what GM has in mind, but one possibility might
be a haptic feedback seat that rumbles to warn a driver of danger. GM
holds a patent on that feature, which is available in the ATS.

  1.       immunise          使免疫,使免除

Jeremy Salinger, r&d manager for Super Cruise, said engineers are
refining Super Cruise by taking the SRX prototypes on half-day slogs,
mostly around a circular four-mile track at the proving grounds. So far,
they have put tens of thousands of miles on the system, he said.

  2.       expectation of life = life expectancy        平均寿命

The next step is making sure that Super Cruise can handle the varied
weather and roads around the country. Simply reading standard lane
markers is not enough; for instance, California has its “Botts’ dots,”
raised bumps that replace painted lines.

  3.       versus = against     对顶,反对

As Salinger spoke, some of the great blue herons that roam GM’s proving
grounds were walking across a nearby road, paying no regard to the
crosswalk — just the type of surprise Super Cruise must to be prepared
to handle.

  4.       mutilate            伤害

Said Salinger: “We’re looking for the unexpected.”

  5.       wilful               任性的,固执的

  6.       benign              宽厚的,仁慈的

  7.       condone           宽容

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