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谁为谷歌汽车买单?

2014-05-30    来源:FT    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Google

Mark Zuckerberg, a chap who takes his own plans for world domination very seriously, once described Twitter as the clown car that fell into a gold mine. Twitter always looked set to change the world; but until recently, it never had the infrastructure to scale up properly.
马克·扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg),一个对自己的“世界主宰”计划很认真的小伙子,曾将Twitter形容为那辆跌入金矿的疯狂小丑车(一款游戏的主角)。Twitter看起来总是马上要改变世界的样子,但直到最近,它一直没有好好扩张所需的基础设施。

Well good news, shareholders of Google. Your money now backs a prototype self-driving vehicle. This really does look like a clown car. It also really will take over the world. Cars that do not require a steering-wheel, pedals, or, in fact, occupants could release billions of hours of productivity. They might even lead to the world’s greatest ever logistics company. But, either way, Google will require infrastructure, at scale.
谷歌(Google)的股东们,你们有好消息了。你们的钱现在资助着一辆无人驾驶汽车的样车。它看起来真的很像一辆小丑车。它也真的将主宰世界。不需要方向盘、踏板,事实上甚至不需要任何驾乘人员的汽车,有望解放数十亿个小时的生产力。它们甚至可能推动产生有史以来全球最伟大的物流公司。然而,不管怎样,谷歌都需要一定规模的基础设施。

That means money. Shareholders provide that to Google without having any say about its use. That will not be sustainable for very long at a car company.
这意味着资金。股东向谷歌提供资金而无权决定其如何使用。这在一家汽车公司是不会持续很久的。

First, capital spending. Already, Google’s bill for new data centres (or buying property for yet more) reached $7.4bn last year, more than double 2012’s figure. Should Google shift as much of the manufacturing investment as possible to carmakers? Sure. Transformative expansion in the industry is not cheap. Look at Tesla Motors’ $5bn Gigafactory, or Jaguar Land Rover trying to double in size in a few years: a $5bn per year investment.
首先是资本支出。谷歌建造新的数据中心(或购买地产以建造更多数据中心)的账单,去年已达74亿美元,是2012年这一数字的两倍多。谷歌是否应当将它对制造业的投资尽可能都转移到汽车生产上去?当然。在这个行业进行转型扩张的代价不菲。看看特斯拉汽车(Tesla Motors)的50亿美元电池工厂Gigafactory,或者捷豹路虎(Jaguar Land Rover)尝试在短短几年内将产能扩大一倍的代价:每年50亿美元的投资。

But Google may have to spend billions anyway, just to build a driverless navigation system. A trip in a Google car in, say, central London, alongside vehicles still driven by twitchy meatbags, would need to process worlds of sensor data. Infrastructure bills for this would be vast. Lobbying would be, too. Only three states in the US allow driverless testing. And liability for accidents could be Google’s, not drivers’. Worth it to change the world? Yes. But the shareholders need to be given visibility into, and a say over, capital allocation first.
但谷歌可能无论如何都得花上几十亿美元,仅仅是建造一个无人驾驶导航系统。例如,坐谷歌汽车到伦敦市中心一游,而路上其它车仍由焦躁不安的酒囊饭袋们开着,这将需要处理海量的传感器数据。由此带来的基础设施账单将是巨额的。游说账单也是。美国只有三个州允许进行无人驾驶汽车的测试。而且事故的赔偿责任可能落到谷歌(而不是车主)头上。为了改变世界值得冒这个险?是,没错。但首先,股东们需要看到并且有权决定资本配置。



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