Would you trust a robot to park your car? The question will confront New Yorkers in February as the city’s first robotic parking opens in Chinatown.
The technology has been successfully applied overseas, but the only other public robotic garage in the United States has been troublesome, dropping vehicles and trapping cars because of technical problems.
Nonetheless, the developers of the Chinatown garage are confident with the technology and are counting on it to squeeze 67 cars in an apartment building basement that would otherwise fit only 24, accomplished by removing a maneuver space normally required.
A human-shaped robot won’t be stepping into your car to drive it. Rather, the garage itself does the parking. The driver stops the car on a flat platform and gets out. The platform is lowered into the garage, and it is then transported to a vacant parking space by a computer-controlled device similar to an elevator that also runs sideways.
There is no human supervision, but an attendant will be on hand to accept cash and explain the system to new users. Parking rates will be attractive, about $400 monthly or $25 per day, according to Ari Millstein, the director of planning for Automation Parking Systems, which is the U.S. subsidiary of a German company. This company has built automated garages in several countries overseas and in the United States for residents of a Washington, D.C. apartment building.
Questions 26 to 29 are based on the passage you have just heard.
26. What do we learn about the robot parking in the U.S. so far?
27. What advantage does robotic parking have according to the developers?
28. What does the attendant do in the automated garage?
29. What does the company say about the parking rates?
A recent study shows that meat consumption is one of the main ways that human can damage the environment, second only to the use of motor vehicles. So how can eating meat have a negative effect on the environment? For start, our animals, such as cows, pigs and sheep release a gas named methane, which is the second most common greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide. Many environmental experts now believe that nothing is more responsible for global warming than carbon dioxide. It is estimated that 25% of all methane released into the atmosphere comes from farm animals. Another way in which meat production affects the environment is through the use of water and land. 2500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef, whereas 20 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of wheat. When an acre of farmland used for raising cows can produce 250 pounds of beef, one acre of farmland used for crop production can produce 50000 pounds of tomatoes. Many people now see the benefits of switching to a vegetarian diet which excludes meat and fish not just for health reasons but also because it places a vital role in protecting the environment. However, some nutritionists advise against switching into a totally strict vegetarian diet. They believe such a diet which includes no products from animal sources can be deficient in many of the necessary vitamins and minerals our bodies need. Today many people have come to realize that to help the environment and for the human race to survive, more of us will need to become a vegetarian.
Question 30 to 32 are based on the passage you have just heard.
30. What does a recent study show?
31. What do some nutritionists say about a strict vegetarian diet?
32. What does the speaker think more people need to do?
Alcoholism is a serious disease. Nearly nine million of Americans alone suffer from the illness. Many scientists disagree about what the differences are between the alcohol addict and social drinker. The difference occurs when someone needs to drink. And this need gets in the way of his health or behavior. Alcohol causes a loss of judgment and alertness. After a long period, alcoholism can deteriorate the liver, the brain and other parts of the body. The illness is dangerous, because it is involved in half of all automobile accidents. Another problem is that the victim often denies being an alcohol addict and won’t get help. Solutions do exist. Many hospitals and centers help patients cope. Without the assistance, the victim can destroy his life. He would detach himself from the routines of life. He may lose his employment, home or loved ones.
All the causes of the sickness are not discovered yet. There is no standard for a person with alcoholism. Victims range in age, race, sex and background. Some groups of people are more vulnerable to the illness. People from broken homes and North American Indians are two examples. People from broken homes often lack stable lives. Indians likewise had the traditional life taken from them by white settlers who often encourage them to consume alcohol to prevent them from fighting back. The problem has now been passed on. Alcoholism is clearly present in society today. People have started to get help and information. With proper assistance, victims can put their lives together one day.
Question 33 to 35 are based on the passage you have just heard.
Q33. What is the problem of the victims about alcoholism according to the speaker?
Q34. Why did white settlers introduce alcohol to Indians?
Q35. What does the speaker seem to believe about those affected by alcoholism?