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通勤學英語

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通勤學英語
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每日英語跟讀 Ep.911: Drones to robots: Pandemic fuels US autonomous delivery
 


Cough medicine, snacks, baking ingredients: Kelly Passek has shopping delivered weekly to her yard in Christiansburg, Virginia — by a drone.
 


止咳藥、零食、烘焙原料:無人機每週都會將凱利‧帕賽克所採購的物品送到她在美國維吉尼亞州克里斯琴斯堡的院子裡。
 


The flying vehicle comes with little fuss, hovering briefly over her yard and letting down its package. “It’s very fast — even the noise you hear is no more than 30 seconds,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
 


這飛行器飛來,幾乎沒有引起什麼騷動,在她院子上空短暫徘徊,將包裹垂降下來。她告訴湯森路透基金會說:「這很快——即便是聽到聲音的時間也不超過三十秒」。
 


The service is a pilot project by Google parent Alphabet Inc’s drone delivery business Wing, which is operating similar projects in Finland and Australia. In Christiansburg, residents who sign up can get drone delivery from a locally owned business, a national pharmacy and FedEx.
 


該服務是Google母公司Alphabet公司的無人機投遞業務Wing的試營運項目,Wing也在芬蘭及澳洲提供類似的服務。在克里斯琴斯堡,參加試營運的居民可收到由無人機外送的當地一商家、一家國營藥局,以及聯邦快遞貨品。
 


RISING DEMAND
As with other autonomous delivery services, both airborne and terrestrial, Wing has seen a major uptick in interest amid the coronavirus pandemic, as emergency regulations keep people at home and complicate many of the simplest tasks.“For a while, they (Wing) were the only one with toilet paper. It turned from being a novelty to being a service that’s used because it’s necessary,” said Passek, whose first drone delivery was in October.
 


需求上升
如同其他空運及陸上運輸自動投遞業務,在冠狀病毒疫情中,Wing也引起人們極大的興趣,因為緊急法規使民眾只能待在家無法出門,讓許多最簡單不過的事都變得困難重重。
帕賽克說:「有一段時間,他們(Wing)是唯一買得到衛生紙的管道。它從新奇的事物變成了必需的服務」。帕賽克第一次收到無人機的外送是在去年十月。
 


The pandemic-era rise in focus on autonomous delivery is also prompting local officials and others to think about how these services use public space in their cities.
 


自動投遞在疫情中興起,備受關注,也促使地方官員及其他人思考這些服務運用城裡公共空間的方式。
 


“Cities aren’t necessarily built for robots roaming around,” said Christopher Bruno, economic development director with Fairfax City, Virginia, which recently helped start a robot delivery service. “That’s something we’re monitoring.”
 


「城市不一定適合機器人四處漫遊」,維吉尼亞州費爾法克斯市經濟發展主管克里斯多夫‧布魯諾表示,「這是我們正密切觀察的」。該市最近協助建立了機器人投遞服務。
 


ECONOMIC LIFELINE
Wing was formed in 2012, and last year it became the first drone company to be approved as an air carrier by the federal government.
 


經濟救生索
Wing成立於二○一二年,去年成為第一家被聯邦政府核准為空運業者的無人機公司。
 


Within its 4.8km-radius Christiansburg delivery area, residents can sign up for the service and get deliveries within about 10 minutes. They also brought in more local businesses, providing an economic lifeline for some: about a quarter of sales at a local cafe now come from drone delivery, while a coffee shop is selling twice as much cold brew as pre-pandemic.
 


在克里斯琴斯堡方圓三英里的外送範圍內,居民可註冊使用該服務,並在約十分鐘內收到。
Wing還將更多當地商家納入,對某些商家來說,這成了經濟救生索:一家當地的小餐館,現在四分之一的銷售是來自無人機外送;而一家咖啡店所賣的冷萃咖啡數量,如今是疫情爆發前的兩倍。
 


Globally, the company saw demand increase 350 percent month over month in signups for service from February to April. That prospect of economic stimulus has been a draw for some pandemic-hit cities.
 


由二月到四月的用戶註冊數來看,Wing的全球需求量每月增加了百分之三百五十。對一些受疫情重創的城市來說,經濟振興的可能性是很大的吸引力。
 


About 402km northeast of Christiansburg, Fairfax City officials struck an agreement with an autonomous delivery service of an entirely different kind: small, cube-shaped robots that slowly trundle down sidewalks and across streets.
 


費爾法克斯市政府官員簽訂了一項協議,在克里斯琴斯堡東北約兩百五十英里處,運用另一種完全不同類型的自動送貨:在人行道及街道上緩慢移動的小型立方體機器人。
 


Bruno had heard about delivery robots on the campus of a nearby university, operated by a company called Starship Technologies.
 


布魯諾聽說過附近一所大學的校園裡設有配送機器人,這種機器人是由一家名為Starship 的科技公司所營運
 


Eventually, a tie-up was born: Starship would operate a fleet of delivery robots, while the city provided a US$10,000 grant so that local businesses would not initially have to pay commission.
The company, which operates in five countries, has gained another 180,000 customers this year.
 


最後,一種合作方式誕生了:Starship負責營運一批送貨機器人,費爾法克斯市政府則提供一萬美元的資助,讓本地商家就不必一開始就要支付佣金。
Starship在五個國家∕地區營運,今年又新增了十八萬名客戶。
 


Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2020/07/28/2003740644


 


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