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英语新闻:Uber为什么要砸30亿重金买诺基亚地图

2015-05-14    来源:财富中文网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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英语新闻:Uber为什么要砸30亿重金买诺基亚地图

英语新闻:

Ride-hailing company Uber is willing to pay up to $3 billion for HERE, a Nokia-owned mapping service that competes with Google Maps, the New York Times reports.

Nokia, a Finnish company you probably best know for itstrademark and stubbornly infectious ringtone, is undergoing a highly transformative shift. Once a leading smartphone maker, it’s now focusing networking hardware business. The biggest sign of that shift: Nokia sold its handset division to Microsoft for more than $7 billion last year. So it makes sense for Nokia to want to unload its mapping unit, for which it could earn a pretty penny while also increasing the company’s focus.


But why would Uber want a mapping company? Two reasons.

Uber’s backend systems are powered by Google Maps. When you load up Uber’s app and drop a pin for a pickup, that’s Google Maps. When your driver is following GPS directions to your destination, that’s Google Maps too. Uber’s recent moves into shipping packages rather than people signal it’s interested in becoming more of a full-on logistics company, akin more to UPS than your local yellow cab service. For Uber, having its own mapping unit would reduce its dependence on another company — Google — while it continues to evolve.

There’s another factor at play here, too. Uber executives haven’t been shy about their fondness for driverless cars; the company is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University to work on the technology. After all, robots don’t strike for higher wages, nor do they assault passengers.

Driverless cars need two things to work. The first is on-car sensors, which constantly monitor for changing road conditions that require an immediate response, like pedestrians and stop signs. The second is maps, which tell the car where to go on a bigger scale. For driverless cars to be feasible, the maps that power them have to be updated constantly. Imagine a driverless car doesn’t know that construction means a bridge is out, for instance: Dead end. Acquiring HERE, then, would help Uber more quickly realize a future where driverless cars get us all from A to B without us batting an eyelash.

ride-hailing: 租车服务

infectious: adj.传染的; 有传染性的; 易传染的

assault: vt.袭击; 强暴; 使(感官)难受

pedestrian: n.步行者; 行人

eyelash: n.睫毛

(财富中文网)


据《纽约时报》报道,租车服务公司Uber有意以30亿美元收购诺基亚旗下的地图服务HERE,后者与谷歌地图一直在竞争。

芬兰公司诺基亚留给人们最深的印象,可能是它的商标和熟悉的手机铃声。该公司正在经历大规模的转型,这家曾经的手机巨头如今正专注于网络硬件业务。最大转型标志是,公司在去年以70亿美元的价格将手机部门卖给了微软。所以,诺基亚想要出售地图部门也不难理解,这不仅能给公司带来一大笔资金,还能提高公司的专注度。

不过Uber为何想买一家地图公司?原因有二。

Uber的后台系统由谷歌地图支持。当你加载Uber应用,并标示搭车地点时,用的就是谷歌地图。当你的司机按照GPS指示前往目的地时,用的也是谷歌地图。Uber最近将重心转向递送包裹而不是乘客,体现出他们有兴趣成为一家全方位的物流公司——类似于UPS那种,而不是一家出租车公司。对Uber而言,拥有自己的地图部门,可以让公司在不断演变发展的同时,减少对谷歌的依赖。

还有另一个因素是:Uber的高管从不避讳他们对自动驾驶汽车的热爱。公司正与卡耐基梅隆大学合作研发这项技术。毕竟,机器是不会为了索要更高薪水而罢工的,它们也不会殴打乘客。

无人驾驶汽车运行离不开两样东西。一样是车载感应器,它能实时监控行人或停车信号等需要立即反应的路况。另外一样则是地图,它能纵览全局,告诉汽车该走哪条路。要使无人驾驶汽车成为现实,后端支持的地图需要不断地更新。设想一下,假如一辆无人驾驶汽车不知道前方有座桥已经不能走了,就会走进死路。收购HERE以后,Uber就能更快地实现自动驾驶汽车的未来,人们不必双眼一眨不眨地盯着路况就能从A地来到B地了。



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