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经济学人:云巅之上 畅想未来交通(上)

Business

商业

Flying Cars: High in the sky

飞车:云巅之上

Firms such as E-volo, Lilium and Uber are re-imagining the daily commute.

E-volo, Lilium以及Uber这些公司正在重新畅想未来的日常交通。

“You may smile, but it will come,” said Henry Ford in 1940, predicting the arrival of a machine that was part-automobile and part-aeroplane.

1940年亨利·福特预测了一种半汽车半飞机新型机器的诞生同时说道:“你可以对此嗤之以鼻,但它终有一天会到来的。”

For decades flying cars have obsessed technologists but eluded their mastery.

几十年来飞行汽车令技术专家们魂牵梦萦,但他们始终未能掌握这项技术。

Finally there is reason to believe.

终于,我们有相信的理由了。

Several firms have offered hope that flying people in small pods for short trips might become a reality in the next decade.

一些公司对几十年内人们乘坐豆荚型的飞行工具短途旅游成为现实寄予了希望。

These are not cars, as most are not fit to drive on land, but rather small vehicles, which can rise and land vertically, like quiet helicopters.

这些飞行工具不是汽车,而是小型的交通工具,因为它们大多数不适合在地面上行进,但能够像直升机那样平稳地垂直升空和降落。

A prototype of a small electric plane that is capable of flying up to 300 kilometres per hour, made by Lilium, a German startup, completed a successful test over Bavaria on April 20th.

德国的一家新兴公司Lilium研制出一架最高时速可达300公里的小型电动飞机原型,并于4月20日在巴伐利亚试飞成功。

Lilium is starting work on a five-seat vehicle and hopes to offer a ride-hailing service.

Lilium着手制作一种五座交通工具,同时希望它能提供叫车服务。

Another German company, e-volo, has been testing a flying vehicle for several years.

另一家德国公司e-volo几年来一直在测试一种飞行器。

It recently showed off the second version of its electric Volocopter, which could be certified for flight as soon as next year.

e-volo最近展示了第二代纯电动直升机,很可能明年得到飞行许可。

There are at least a dozen firms experimenting with making small flying vehicles in different guises, including Airbus, an aerospace giant, in partnership with Italdesign Giugiaro, a division of Volkswagen, a carmaker.

至少有十二家公司对不同外形的小型飞行工具进行实验,,这其中包括航空业的巨头——空客,该公司和大众分支意大利汽车设计室Giugiaro (汽车制造公司)进行合作。

Many plan to have a certified pilot in command at the beginning and then move on to an autonomous set-up when regulations allow.

也有很多公司让持证件的飞行员待命,然后在条例允许之后开办有自主权的组织。

Motorcycle-type vehicles, which you sit astride, are also in the works.

摩托车型——两腿分开坐的交通工具也在开发进程中。

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