Nowadays six Amazon Scout delivery robots rolled out in a pilot program in Snohomish County, Wash. The robots carry meals, groceries and packages to homes and offices in this region just north of Seattle. They have appeared on the sidewalks of London, Beijing and other cities and communities worldwide. These machines must overcome pedestrian legs, naughty dogs and broken pavement, which raises some questions.
These services are gaining attraction as a growing number of city residents expect immediate or scheduled delivery for just about everything. Between 2017 and 2018 online retail sales in the U.S. increased by 16 percent. On the final step of all these deliveries, called the last mile, humans on bicycles, motorized scooters ( 电动车) or large delivery trucks typically deliver packages. All the vehicles compete for space on busy urban streets. “Deliveries are trending upwards in all crowded city centers, and if city and state leaders don’t start thinking about creative solutions like robot deliveries, we can expect even worse traffic jams,” says Paul Mackie, director of a transportation policy research center in Arlington.
A study by this center found 73 percent of delivery vehicles in Arlington were parked outside of authorized areas, often blocking bike lanes and crosswalks. By moving the last step of deliveries from the road to the sidewalk, cities could reduce traffic jams and solve the parking problem entirely, Mackie says.
Companies such as Amazon are not developing this delivery technology simply to clear up urban traffic. Self-driving vehicles and sidewalk robots could cut down last-mile delivery costs in cities by as much as 40 percent, according to a 2018 report by a consultancy firm. A delivery robot can cost thousands of dollars to manufacture, and most currently require human management and conservation. But in the long run companies that use autonomous delivery vehicles in the next several years could end up saving billions of dollars, the report stated.
32. Why does Amazon introduce delivery robots ?
A. To amuse its customers.
B. To avoid pedestrians, dogs and broken pavement.
C. To meet the increasing demand of delivering packages.
D. To confirm the company’s innovation spirit.
33. What does Paul Mackie mean by his words in paragraph 2?
A. Retail sales in the U.S. increased fast.
B. Deliveries stay steady in all crowded city centers.
C. Regardless of robot deliveries, traffic jams will remain the same.
D. Robot can help ease the traffic pressure.
34. What can robots delivery bring to the city?
A. Block bike lanes and crosswalks.
B. Relieve urban traffic as well as save delivery costs.
C. Increase danger to pedestrians.
D. Lead to traffic traffic jams.
35. Which word can best describe the future of the robot delivery?
A. Uncertain.B. Hopeless.C. Promising.D. Unacceptable.
【答案】32. C 33. D 34. B 35. C