本文摘要:The advance of the self-driving car may be the most important technological breakthrough of the coming decades.自动驾驶汽车领域的进展有可能是未来几十年最重要的科技突破。

The advance of the self-driving car may be the most important technological breakthrough of the coming decades.自动驾驶汽车领域的进展有可能是未来几十年最重要的科技突破。Even generally well-informed people I meet regard driverless vehicles as being still pretty “out there”. And I doubt that the hundreds of millions of people who steer vehicles for a living will start giving it much thought until too late.即使我遇上的一些消息灵通人士也指出,无人驾驶汽车依然是“很很远的事情”。

我也猜测,为了经商而驾车的亿万人会及时开始了解考虑到这一问题。But major car companies are vying to get consumer-ready autonomous cars on the market by around 2020. Professionals, from economists to town planners to traffic engineers to legislators to insurers, are starting to grapple with the massive changes this will bring.但各大车企于是以致力于在2020年左右把面向消费者的自动驾驶汽车推向市场。从经济学家到城市规划者,从交通工程师到立法者和保险业者,专业人士于是以著手应付它将带给的巨大变化。

What, then, might a smart lawyer make of the legal implications of the coming transport revolution?那么,对于这场将要来临的运输革命,一位聪慧的律师不会怎样看来其潜在法律影响呢?I have been to Cambridge to meet Stephen Hamilton, a partner in the UK law firm, Mills Reeve, which is positioning itself as an authority on driverless vehicle law.我到剑桥(Cambridge)造访了英国律所Mills Reeve合伙人史蒂芬?汉密尔顿(Stephen Hamilton);该律所保定坐落于无人驾驶车辆法律的权威。Mr Hamilton specialises in helping companies raise funds from the capital markets, but he has spent three years researching and building expertise on autonomous vehicles.汉密尔顿专长于协助企业从资本市场筹集资金,但他花上了三年时间研究自动驾驶汽车,累积起涉及专业知识。“The internet is all about moving text, voice and pictures around digitally,” he says, as we look out over university buildings where scientists from Isaac Newton to Charles Darwin to Stephen Hawking have worked.他说道:“互联网的本质就是以数字方式来传输文字、语音和图片。

”我们望着校内一栋栋建筑,这里是艾萨克?牛顿(Isaac Newton)、查尔斯?达尔文(Charles Darwin)和斯蒂芬?霍金(Stephen Hawking)曾工作过的地方。“The disruption the internet caused was massive. But if we get there on self-driving mobility, and we’re moving people and things around a network digitally, we ain’t seen nothing yet in terms of disruption.”“互联网导致的政治宣传是极大的。

但如果我们构建无人驾驶,利用数字手段在一个网络内运输人和物件,就政治宣传而言,大幕刚冲破。”The legal question around self-driving cars that has attracted most attention, however, is not about the great shifts in the way we might live, but the “who to kill” dilemma: a child runs out in front of an autonomous car, should it be programmed to swerve to avoid the child, even if that means hitting an oncoming car or people at a bus stop?环绕自动驾驶汽车的法律问题引发了很大注目,但人们注目的并不是我们的生活方式有可能再次发生的极大改变,而是“该杀死谁”的两难困境:一个孩子忽然经常出现在一辆自动驾驶汽车前方,汽车应不应该从编程上急转弯以避免孩子,哪怕这意味著与迎面而来的汽车撞,或撞在公交车站等车的人?In Mr Hamilton’s view, this ethical question has been overplayed.在汉密尔顿显然,这个伦理问题被过度高估了。“The solution is that when a vehicle meets an obstruction, it can do only a limited number of things — steer left or right to overtake or get round it, or brake, or accelerate. The last is unlikely to be applicable, so it’s really a three-way choice.“解决办法是,当车辆遇上障碍物时,它能采行的行动是受限的:从左方或右方转弯或绕过去,或者刹车,或者加快。

最后一个不太可能限于,所以这实质上就是一个三项选择题。”“What we would suggest is that if you can’t get round it, the only choice is to brake and avoid or mitigate the damage. There’s no ethical choice in that for an algorithm or decision tree to act on. It’s an obstruction that’s moved into your path that shouldn’t have been there, just like somebody falling or jumping in front of a train.”“我们的建议是,如果你无法绕过去,唯一的自由选择就是刹车,防止或减低损害。这里不不存在必须算法或决策树伤脑筋的道德自由选择。

你前方的路上经常出现了一个不应在那里的障碍,就像有人跌倒或者跳跃到火车前方。”You can “war game” anomalies, he explains, but each time, the only answer is to brake and hope for the least damage to the child. Anyway, autonomous cars will always be driving more safely than humans do, and will always react faster than even a rational, alert and sober human.他说明说道,你可以把出现异常状况搞得像“战争游戏”,但每一次的答案只有一个:刹车,并期望对孩子的损害降至大于。无论如何,自动驾驶汽车总会比人类驾驶员更加安全性,总会比哪怕是理性、警觉、精神状态的人类驾驶员反应更加慢。

Another ethical issue Mr Hamilton flagged up is the potential mighty fuss over unfit drivers taking to the road again in a self-driving car. Could or should society stop a banned driver from buying a self-driving car and regaining full mobility?汉密尔顿明确提出的另一个伦理问题是,已被注销驾驶执照的驾驶者进着自动驾驶汽车再度驶过道路,潜在有可能引发很大的争议。社会可以(或者应当)制止被注销驾驶执照的司机出售自动驾驶汽车和重拾几乎机动能力吗?Then there is a boring-but-important legislative issue. Road traffic law throughout the developed world is based on two international treaties, the Geneva Convention of 1949 and the Vienna Convention.还有一个乏味但最重要的法律问题。

发达国家的公路交通法律基于两项国际公约:1949年《日内瓦道路交通公约》(Geneva Convention on Road Traffic),以及1968年《维也纳道路交通公约》(Vienna Convention on Road Traffic)。Both specify that control of a vehicle must at all times be with the driver, so they will need to be adapted before fully self-driving cars are legal. Far from a small matter.二者都规定任何时候车辆都必需由驾驶员掌控,因此在全自动驾驶汽车合法之前,再行得改动这条规定。这决不是件小事。

China, which has signed neither convention, is in a position to put autonomous cars on its roads. Chinese manufacturers are still grappling with the technology, but rest of the world, you have been warned.未签订这两项公约的中国,可以让自动驾驶汽车上路。中国的制造商仍在攻下无人驾驶技术,但全球其他地方应当注目这个法律问题。Another thing. What about free will? If my car is behind an older gentleman’s ancient vehicle doing a steady 20mph, can I programme mine to overtake, possibly breaking the speed limit as it does so?此外就是权利意志的问题。如果我的车跟在一位年长绅士的老爷车后面,该车以20英里的时速慢吞吞地行经,我可以给自己的车编程转弯吗?哪怕它有可能在转弯时违背车速规定?The answer, Mr Hamilton believes, is that there is unlikely to be an “accept moderately risky driving” option in your autonomous car’s presets.哈密尔顿指出,答案是,自动驾驶汽车的预设选项中不太可能经常出现“拒绝接受有助于风险驾驶员”这一选项。

“But anyway,” he adds a little drily, “I suspect that the car won’t get bored or fed up”, like human drivers do. Instead, it “will know that at the end of the journey, the overtake will have saved about seven seconds [so it] will apply ruthless logic and not do it”.“但无论如何,”他带着一丝冷幽默说道,“我估算汽车会(像人类驾驶员那样)深感无趣或沮丧”。忽略,它“不会告诉最后而言,这次转弯可以节省约7秒钟,因此它不会运用不带上感情的逻辑分析,要求不转弯。”Hacking your car’s software to do so, he added, will be illegal. The same software will also refuse to drive you anywhere but the garage if the car needs a service or a system update.他补足说道,白入汽车软件这么腊是非法的。软件将拒绝接受把你载有到任何地方,惟独汽车修理厂除外——如果汽车必须维修,或者展开系统改版。

It is not insignificant that last year’s registrations of new (human driven) cars in the UK hit a high of 2.69m. Neither is it to be overlooked that the CEO of the Toyota Research Institute said at the Consumer Electronics Show just last week that the car industry is “not even close” to fully autonomous cars.值得一提的是,去年英国(人类驾驶员的)新车注册量高达269万辆。还有一件事也不可忽视,丰田研究院(Toyota Research Institute)首席执行官近日在消费电子展(CES)上回应,汽车行业离全自动驾驶汽车的“边儿都不挨着”。Yet I came away from my meeting with Mr Hamilton pretty sure that not long from now, the notion of humans steering vehicles will, as he believes, seem as anachronistic and undesirable as jousting or duelling.不过当我与汉密尔顿道别时,我十分相信一点:不久以后,就像汉密尔顿所指出的那样,人类驾驶员汽车将像骑马比武或对决一样,沦为一个过时的、不是非的概念。