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本文摘要:This month an autonomous drone made a 13-minute flight over the British countryside to drop off an Amazon television-streaming stick and a bag of popcorn to a customer near Cambridge.上个月,一架自动无人机在英国乡村海面飞行中13分钟,给一位剑桥附近的客户寄送了一部亚马逊(Amazon)流媒体电


This month an autonomous drone made a 13-minute flight over the British countryside to drop off an Amazon television-streaming stick and a bag of popcorn to a customer near Cambridge.上个月,一架自动无人机在英国乡村海面飞行中13分钟,给一位剑桥附近的客户寄送了一部亚马逊(Amazon)流媒体电视棒和一袋爆米花。At one level, the delivery was little more than a quirky publicity stunt to demonstrate the potential of technology. But it also confirmed Amazon’s deadly serious intent to develop a delivery infrastructure that could yet revolutionise the logistics industry.从一个层面来看,这次投递只是一次新奇的宣传手段,展出了科技的潜力。

但它也证实,亚马逊极为坦率的研发寄送基础设施的意愿可能会给物流行业带给革命。“I know this looks like science fiction. It’s not,” Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, told a television interviewer in 2013, revealing the company’s drones programme. “It will work, and it will happen, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”“我告诉这看起来看起来科幻小说。

并非如此。”亚马逊创始人杰夫贝索斯(Jeff Bezos)在2013年的一次电视专访中透漏了该公司的无人机计划,他告诉他采访者,“它是不切实际的,它不会构建的,它不会带给很多体验。”The holy grail of the logistics industry has always been to solve the “last mile” challenge, the trickiest and most expensive link in the delivery chain. Amazon Prime Air could be part of the solution. Drone operators claim their deliveries can be quicker, safer and greener than most other options.物流行业的终极难题仍然是解决问题“最后一英里”挑战,这是寄送链最简单且成本最低的一环。

亚马逊Prime Air有可能是这个解决方案的一部分。无人机运营商声称,与多数其他自由选择比起,无人机车主可能会更加慢、更加安全性且更加环保。If the necessary infrastructure were in place, drones could be used for the bulk of Amazon’s deliveries. According to Mr Bezos, Amazon’s drones can deliver packages weighing up to 5lb (a little over 2kg), covering 86 per cent of the items it delivers.如果适当的基础设施做到,可以用无人机已完成亚马逊的绝大多数投递业务。

贝索斯回应,亚马逊的无人机可以寄送最轻5磅(2公斤多一点)的货物,可以符合其寄送商品的86%。The critical question is whether that infrastructure will ever be built. Will we allow the mass use of commercial drones over populated areas? Can we envisage a day when thousands of commercial drones buzz through our cities delivering parcels to specially designated drop-off points on rooftops and in car parks?关键的问题是这些基础设施否不会创建一起。我们否不会容许在人口稠密的地区大规模用于商用无人机?我们能否设想有一天数千架商用无人机嗡嗡地盘旋城市海面,把包覆投递到屋顶和停车场的专用降落点?In many countries, we are at the beginning of a fumbling triangular dance between operators, regulators and the public about the safety and acceptability of such deliveries.在很多国家,运营商、监管者和公众环绕这种租车方式的安全性和可接受性的僵硬角力刚刚开始。

Operators argue that commercial drones have been successfully used for years in sparsely populated areas of the world. In the early 1980s the Japanese pioneered the use of drones to spray pesticides on rice fields. Energy companies regularly use drones to survey remote oil pipelines, damaged power lines and wind turbines.运营商坚称,商用无人机在全球人口较少的地区已顺利用于多年。上世纪80年代初,日本首度用于无人机向稻田倾倒杀虫剂。

能源公司常常利用无人机勘查很远的石油管线、损毁的电力线路和风力涡轮。Their use is particularly effective in parts of the developing world where drones can leapfrog poor conventional infrastructure. Rural parts of Rwanda are already benefiting from drone-delivered, time-sensitive medicines.这些用途在发展中国家一些地区最为有效地,在那里无人机可以打破脆弱的传统基础设施。卢旺达的农村地区已获益于用无人机投递有时效性的药品。

A recent report by PwC highlighted the speed at which the industry is developing, identifying 200 drone manufacturers globally. “The drone sector is on the verge of becoming a mass industry, with enormous potential to disrupt various types of business,” it concluded.普华永道(PwC)最近的一份报告突显出该行业发展的速度,报告确认全球有200家无人机制造商。报告总结称之为:“无人机行业于是以相似沦为一个大规模行业,具有政治宣传各种行业的极大潜力。”But allowing autonomous commercial drones to deliver customers’ parcels in cities would cross a perception threshold. It would certainly be the most visible — and possibly controversial — use of the technology so far.但容许自动商用无人机在城市寄送客户包覆将横跨一个理解门槛。这认同是目前为止这项技术最显著也最有可能倍受争议的用途。

Regulators in some countries, such as the UK, Japan and Poland, are adopting an accommodating approach, encouraging drone operators to experiment provided they meet defined safety standards. However, other countries — most notably the US — are far more cautious about whether to allow operators to fly autonomous drones beyond the line of sight.英国、日本和波兰等一些国家的监管机构于是以采行多元文化政策,一旦无人机运营商符合规定的安全性标准,就希望它们展开试验。然而其他国家(尤其是美国)对于否容许运营商让自动无人机飞到视线以外要慎重得多。Ed Leon Klinger, chief executive of Flock, an early stage start-up company serving the drone industry, says the UK is at the forefront of global thinking on commercial drone use. “The drone industry is developing at an incredible pace. We will see drones in cities within three years,” he predicts.为无人机行业获取服务的早期初创企业Flock的首席执行官埃德莱昂克林格(Ed Leon Klinger)回应,英国正处于商用无人机应用于全球思维的前沿。

他预测:“无人机行业于是以以难以置信的速度发展。我们将在3年内在城市看见无人机。”His company, which provides real-time data analytics on weather and traffic conditions to operators, enables drones to fly more safely and smartly in cities and helps insurance companies price risk.他的公司向无人机运营商获取有关天气和交通状况的动态数据分析,需要保证无人机在城市更加安全性和更加智能地飞行中,并协助保险公司为风险定价。Even though regulators and operators are learning to bump along together, the public appears to be trailing a long way behind. One of the commercial drone industry’s biggest fears is that irresponsible hobbyists will destroy public trust in the technology before responsible operators can prove themselves. Public concern is rising about how hobbyist drones have been used to snoop on neighbours, deliver drugs to prisoners and endanger aircraft. Securityservices are already installing “geofences” around sensitive sites尽管监管机构和运营商于是以联合探寻,但公众的意识或许相比之下领先。




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