One of Google’s self-driving cars crashed into a bus in California last month. There were no injuries.
It is not the first time one of Google’s famed self-driving cars has been involved in a crash, but it may be the first time it has caused one.
On February 14th the self-driving car, travelling at 2mph (3km/h), pulled out in front of a public bus going 15mph (24km/h).
The man in the Google vehicle reported that he assumed the bus would slow down to let the car out, and so he did not switch to the manual mode.
In a statement, Google said: "We clearly bear some responsibility, bec ause if our car hadn’t moved, there wouldn’t have been a crash."
That said, our test driver believed the bus was going to slow or stop to allow us to merge into the traffic, and that there would be sufficient space to do that."
The company’s self-driving cars have done well over a million miles across various states in the US, and until now have only reported minor accidents.
Q1: According to Google, what was the cause of the accident?
B The test driver made a wrong judgement
Q2: How have Google’s self-driving cars performed so far?
D They have generally done quite well.
【News Report 2】
Thousands of bees left a town after landing on the back of a car when their queen got stuck in its boot. Tom Moses who works at a nearby national park, noticed a “brown patch” on the back of the car after the owner parked it to do some shopping. When he looked closer he realized it was a huge group of bees.
Moses said: “I have never seen that many bees in one spot. It was very unusual. They were very close together and there was a lot of noise and movements, it was interesting to see such a strange sight. But there were a lot of people around and I was a bit worried about the bees and the people stopping to look. I thought that someone might do something stupid.
Moses called two local bees specialists who helped removed the bees by attracting them into a box.
Moses spent three hours looking after the bees and was stung five times, he said my stings are a bit painful but I am pleased that all worked out and I could help, people need to realize that bees are valuable and they should be looked after.
Q3. What do we learn about Tom Moses?
A He works at a national park.
Q4. What do we know about the bees on the back of the car?
B They were making a lot of noise.【News report 3】
A new species of snake has been discovered on a remote island in the Bahamas.
Scientists identified 20 of the one meter-long snakes during two trips to the Caribbean islands. The second trip was made in October last year.
One of the creatures made a dramatic appearance by moving on to the head of the team leader as he slept.
The snake has been named silver boa bec ause it is metallic colored and the first specimen found was climbing a silver palm tree.
The team was led by Dr. Graham Reynolds, from Harvard University, the scientist confirmed the snake was a previously unknown species after conducting a genetic analysis of tissue samples.
Commenting on the find, snake expert Robert Henderson from the Museum of Natural History, said: “Worldwide new species of frogs are being discovered and described quite regularity. New species of snakes, however, are much rarer.
Q5. What is the news report mainly about?
A The discovery of a new species of snake.
Q6. What do we learn about the scientific team leader?
C A snake crawled onto his head in his sleep.
Q7. How did the newly discovered creature get its name?
D From its colour.
W: Did you enjoy your stay with us, Mr. Brown?
M: Yes, very much. I had a wonderful time here. Now I’m going to the airport. My flight leaves in less than 2 hours. So, could you tell me, what’s the quickest way to get there?
W: Well, we can call a taxi for you. We also have a free airport shuttle service.
M: That sounds gre at, but will the shuttle get me to the airport in time?
W: Yes, it should. The next shuttle leaves in 15 minutes. And it takes some 25 minutes to get to the airport.
M: Fantastic! I’ll just wait in the lobby. Will you please let me know when it’s leaving?
W: Of course, sir.
M: Now I would like to settle my mini-bar bill. How much is that?
W: Let’s see. It comes to $37.50. How would you like to pay for it?
M: I’ll pay with my credit card. Thanks. But I’ll need a receipt, so I can charge it to my company.
W: Absolutely! Here you are, sir. If you like, I can leave your bags with the porter. And he can load them onto the shuttle for you when it arrives.
M: That would be great. Thank you.
W: Would you like to leave a comment on our web page when you have time?
M: Sure. I had a really good stay here, and I’d like to recommend your hotel to my friends and colleagues.
W: That’s very kind of you. Thank you again for staying at Sheraton Hotel.
Q8. Why does the man ask about the quickest way to the airport?
A The security check takes time.
Q9. How is the man going to pay his bill?
B By credit card.
Q10. What did the man ask the woman to do?
A Give him a receipt.
Q11. What favor does the woman ask of the man?
D Posting a comment on the hotel’s webpage.【Conversation 2 】
M: You know, Ben’s given up making those terrible faces he used to make. The other day, he came home from school almost in tears. His teacher said if he went on like that, his face would get stuck when the winds changed.
W: And he believed her?
M: Yeah, he’s only a little boy. Don’t you remember all those things we used to believe when we were little? I remember my aunt Mary used to say if you swallow a cherrystone, a tree would grow out of your mouth. And I’m still terrified today, sort of subconsciously. You know, if I swallow one by mistake…
W: Yeah, I suppose you’re right. The one that used to get me was that swans could break your leg when they blow of the wing.
M: They can, can’t they? I always thought they could.
W: No, they are not that strong. But there’s another one even more terrifying. That is, if you put a post stamp on upside down, you will go to prison.
M: No, never heard of that. But my grandmother was a terror for that kind of thing. For example, she would say, you will get a spot on your tongue if you tell a lie. If you eat stale bread, your hair will curl. And here’s one more. We went on a campaign trip once in Italy, and my wife spent the whole time worrying about bats getting into her hair. She said her grandmother reckoned you had to shave your head to get it out. My wife was really terrified.
W: Silly, isn’t it? But that’s how some parents try to keep their kids from doing the wrong thing or getting into trouble.
Q12: What does the man say about Ben?
C He has stopped making terrible faces.
Q13: What did aunt Marry used to do when the man was a child?
D Warn him of danger by making up a story.
Q14: What does the woman believe swans could do?
A They could break pp’s legs.
Q15: What did the grandmother of the man’s wife say?
B One would have to shave their head to remove a bat in their hair.
If I could go back in history and live when I liked, I wouldn’t go back very far. In fact, I’d like to relive a period I’ve already lived – the 1960s.
I was in my twenties, and everything was being renewed. People would come in out of a formal and almost Victorian attitude, and you really felt anything was possible. Meeting people was the thing, and you went to coffee bars where you met friends and spent the evening. The cinema, the theater, all that was every exciting with new things coming out. In fact, we seemed to be out, all the time! I don’t really remember working – of course, I was a student – or sitting around at home very much. That just wasn’t where the scene was, even eating! It was the first time, ordinary people started going out to eat. We were beginning to be adventurous about food, but we were more interested in meeting people than in eating or drinking. And dress, yes, that was the revolution. I mean, girls went around in really short skirts, and wore flowers in their hair. And men were in jeans, and could wear their hair long too. It was a wonderful period. It was like living in an age you could never have imagined, and that never has come back. We didn’t have much money, but it didn’t matter. And there was plenty of opportunity to do whatever you felt like doing.
Question 16 – 18 are based on the passage you have just heard:
16. Why does the speaker say he would like to relive the 1960s?
C Everything seemed to be changing.
17. What does the speaker say was the most popular thing to do at that time?
A Meeting people.
18. What do we learn about the speaker?
D He was a young student in the 1960s.
Dogs, man’s best friends, have a clear strategy for dealing with angry owners—they look away.
New research shows that dogs limit their eye contact with angry humans. The scientists suggest this may be an attempt to calm humans down. This behavior may have evolved as dogs gradually learned they could benefit from avoiding conflicts with humans.
To conduct the tests, the University of Helsinki researchers trained 31 dogs to rest in front of a video screen. Facial photos of dogs and humans were displayed on the screen for 1.5 seconds. They showed threatening, pleasant and neutral expressions. Nearby cameras tracked the dogs’ eye movements.
Dogs in the study looked most at the eyes of humans and other dogs to sense their emotions. When dogs looked at expressions of angry dogs, their eyes rested more on the mouth, perhaps to interpret the threatening expressions. And when looking at angry humans, they tended to turn away their gaze.
Dogs may have learned to detect threat signs from humans and respond by trying to make peace, according to researcher Sanni Somppi. Avoiding conflicts may have helped dogs develop better bonds with humans.
The researchers also note that dogs scan faces as a whole to sense how people are feeling, instead of focusing on a given feature. They suggest this indicates that dogs aren’t sensing emotions from a single feature, but piecing together information from all facial features just as humans do.
Q19. What do dogs do when they are faced with angry humans?
B They avoid looking at them.
Q20. What does a dog do when it sees the expressions of angry dogs?
C It focuses its eyes on their mouths.
Q21. How does a dog sense people’s feelings?
B By taking in their facial expressions as a whole.
Winter in many places is very cold. There is lots of snow around, and the ground freezes, which can make life difficult for animals. People in cold places live in warm houses and have learned to adapt. What do animals do? There are three main ways that animals survive the cold in winter: sleep, adapt or migrate.
Some animals, such as bears, frogs and snakes, sleep all winter. They sleep very deeply and need little or no food. While sleeping, their body temperature drops, and their heart beat slows down. To prepare for this before winter, these animals eat extra food to bec ome fat, which gives them the energy they need while they sleep.
Other animals adapt. For example, by staying active in winter. It is often hard for them to find food. So some animals, such as mice, collect extra food before winter, and hide it. When winter comes, they return to their hiding places to eat the food. Some animals grow thicker fur, or live in tree holes or underground to stay warm.
Some birds migrate by flying to a warmer place for the winter, where they can find more food. Some fly very long distances, including one kind of bird that flies from the remote north of the world, all the way to the distant south. Some birds fly in groups for safety, while others fly alone.
Questions 22-25 are based on the passage you have just heard.
22. What does the speaker say about animals in winter?
D They resort to different means to survive the bitter cold.
23. What do we learn about animals that sleep through winter?
C They consume the energy stored before the long sleep.
24. How do animals like mice adapt to the severe winter?
A By storing enough food beforehand
25. Why do some birds fly in groups when migrating, according to the speaker?
C To stay safe