First ‘Robotaxis’ Enter Service In Beijing
Part 1 – Key Vocabulary
Autonomous (adj) means to move independently without help from anyone.
- In the future, autonomous cars will be allowed on all of the roads.
- A number of tech firms are working on autonomous
Commercial (adj) means for business purposes.
- Jack’s office is in the commercial district of the city.
- The free photos on that website are for personal, not commercial
Intervention (n) means involvement in a situation.
- The autonomous train has some staff just in case human intervention is needed.
- Because of his parent’s intervention, Joey was able to stop his drug habit.
Roll-out (n) is the situation when a new product becomes available to the public.
- The roll-out of the first iPhone was in 1997.
- The roll-out of affordable consumer space travel will happen within 10 years.
Start-up (n) is a new, small company.
- Several start-ups are working on autonomous
- Frank’s start-up got some financing from his uncle.
Give the green light (idiom) means to give someone permission.
- The boss gave me the green light to go home early on Friday.
- Jack wanted to go to Vegas with his friends and his wife gave him the green light.
Practice the Vocabulary
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Part 2 – Read the Story
First ‘Robotaxis’ Enter Service In Beijing*You can listen to the article above, at both a slow speed and fast speed
It looks like a normal car, but the white taxi by the curb has nobody driving it, and communicates with customers digitally to obtain directions and take payment. Beijing this week approved its first autonomous taxis for commercial use, bringing dozens of the “robotaxis” to the streets of the Chinese capital.
The vehicles can only carry two passengers at a time and are only operating in the city’s southern area. An employee of the taxi firm also sits in the front of the car in case any sudden intervention is needed, but the taxi drives itself.
The roll-out is a significant step forward for the driverless ambitions of Chinese tech giant Baidu and start-up Pony.ai, which is backed by Toyota. The firms were given the green light to operate the cars starting at the end of November. But due to regulations and safety requirements, it is expected to be years before the taxis operate fully without human intervention. The developers are hoping Chinese consumers — who have embraced e-commerce and other digital solutions — will quickly get used to the sensation of traveling in a car without a driver.
Original Article: https://japantoday.com/category/tech/first-‘robotaxis’-enter-service-in-beijing
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