Part I Writing (30 minutes)
Directions: For this part, you are allowed 30 minutes to write a letter. You should write at least 120 words following the outline given below in Chinese:
Part II Reading Comprehension (skimming and Scanning) (15 minutes)
Directions: In this part, you will have 15 minutes to go over the passage quickly and answer the questions on Answer Sheet 1.
For questions 1-7, mark
Y (for YES) if the statement agrees with the information given in the passage;
N (for NO) if the statement contradicts the information given in the passage;
NG (for NOT GIVEN) if the information is not given in the passage.
For questions 8-10, complete the sentences with the information given in the passage.
Robot Cars to Do Battle in Desert Race
When 15 competitors lined up in Nevada last year for the U.S. Defense Department's first million-dollar robot race, hopes were high. The challenge: to drive a vehicle without a human driver or remote control some 150 miles (241 kilometers) through the Mojave Desert.
But those hopes quickly went up in a cloud of dust as most robots barely managed to get off the starting line. The best performer, a modified Humvee built by engineers at Pennsylvania's Carnegie Mellon University, traveled 7 miles (11 kilometers) before breaking down.
To robot devotees(热爱者), however, it was a minor hiccup.
No surprise, then, that 43 teams showed up to try out for this year's race, dubbed(被称作) the Grand Challenge. For the past week, teams ranging from garage enthusiasts to well-funded university engineers have been fine-tuning their machines at qualifying rounds here at the California Speedway in Fontana, California. (Watch the robots in action in our exclusive video.)
Twenty-three finalists were announced Thursday for Saturday's Grand Challenge. The 175-mile (282-kilometer) course starts and finishes in Primm, Nevada.
The race promises to be even tougher than last year's run. But 18 months is an eternity in the robotics world, and the technology has vastly improved.
Organizers believe several teams have a real shot of finishing the race in less than ten hours to earn the grand prize of two million U.S. dollars.
"When the first team out of the chute(斜道)—Mojavaton, a small team out of Colorado—made it successfully around the 2.2-mile (3.5-kilometer) qualification course, I knew right there and then that we had something special," said Ron Kurjanowicz, the chief of staff for the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is sponsoring the race.
The aim of the Grand Challenge, Defense Department officials say, is to spur development of autonomous ground vehicles that can operate in dangerous environments, such as war zones, keeping soldiers out of harm's way.
A U.S. Congress mandate(训令)requires that one-third of military ground vehicles drive themselves by 2015, but the technology to meet that mandate does not yet exist.
So the government looked to enterprising teams to develop the technology for driverless vehicles, sweetening its offer with the two-million-dollar purse.
None of the 23 teams knows what lies ahead for this year's race. DARPA won't reveal the exact route until two hours before the start of the race on Saturday.
But the obstacles on the Fontana qualification course-including a steel—enforced tunnel that wipes out a vehicle's global positioning system—are made to resemble the rugged, real-life conditions that the vehicles will have to navigate.
The vehicles use sensors such as lasers, cameras, and radar to help them avoid obstacles such as rocks and cliffs. The computer's brain has to figure out how to resolve unexpected conflicts, like a boulder sitting in the middle of the road.
"Think about all the decisions that you and I have to make when we drive from our house to the store," Kurjanowicz said. "These vehicles have to do the same thing, without a driver."
Among the top contenders in Saturday's race is TerraMax, a massive truck originally built by the Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Truck Corporation for the U.S. Marine corps.
In last year's race, TerraMax managed to go only 1.2 miles (2 kilometers). Team leader Gary Schmiedel expects to do much better this year. He pointed to the new all-wheel steering feature on the truck as an important addition.
"We can move this large, 15-ton (13.5-metric ton) payload vehicle in a turn that's equivalent to that of a Humvee," he said.
The resources of teams like TerraMax or Carnegie Mellon University, which has two vehicles in the race this year, are a far cry from those of some of the other competitors, including inventors, electricians, and even a high school team.
One entry, from a Southern California team of engineers, racers, and hot-rodders, is called It Came From the Garage. It has a beer keg(小桶)stuck on the back and an on-off switch that says "brain."
"Most of the schools and organizations we're up against are just accessorizing conventional vehicles," said team leader Chris "C.J." Pedersen, a former actor. "Our [vehicle] is a custom-built, 21st-century hot rod... complete with hood scoop and exhaust coming off the side."
Anthony Levandowski, a robotics builder from Berkeley, California, is back with Ghostrider, the only motorcycle robot in the qualifications. Studded with sensors and computers, it toppled (翻倒)over after 3 feet (1 meter) in last year's race.
Levandowski, who had to postpone his graduate studies when he couldn't find a faculty advisor who believed it would be possible to build the motorcycle robot, says his vehicle has some distinct advantages.
"We're smaller and go a lot more places," he said while tinkering with the robot before another trial run. "We're also a lot less expensive. This bike costs as much as a tire or a wheel of some of these other guys' machines."
Neither Ghostrider nor It Came From the Garage made the final cut this week's qualifying races.
However, another crowd-pleaser, Cajunbot—or the Ragin' Cajun—a converted all-terrain vehicle developed by a team from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, did.
The smart money in Saturday's race may be on Stanley, a converted Volkswagen Touareg made by a team at California's Stanford University. It was the only vehicle that didn't hit an obstacle in the trial runs.
Even if none of the vehicles finishes the race this year, DARPA's Kurjanowicz said, the event has succeeded in galvanizing robotics developers and pushing the creation of new technologies.
"The beauty of the Grand Challenge is that it doesn't tell people how to solve the problem," he said. "The community has come up with its own elegant solutions."
1. The passage mainly describes the advantages and disadvantages of robot car races.
2. Last year's robot race in Nevada was a great success.
3. It is a surprise that up to 43 teams came for this year's race called the Grand Challenge.
4. The Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency(DARPA) is sponsoring the race.
5. The aim of the Grand Challenge is to spur development of autonomous ground vehicles.
6. Ghostrider and It Came From the Garage both made the final cut at this week's qualifying races.
7. TerraMax will finish the race and win the grand prize of two million U.S. dollars.
8. The obstacles on the Fontana qualification course are made to resemble the ________________.
9. The only motorcycle robot in the qualifications is ________________.
10. The only vehicle that didn't hit an obstacle in the trial runs is ________________.
Part III Listening Comprehension (35 minutes)
Directions: In this section, you will hear 8 short conversations and 2 long conversations. At the end of each conversation, one or more questions will be asked about what was said. Both the conversation and the questions will be spoken only once. After each question there will be a pause. During the pause, you must read the four choices marked [A], [B], [C] and [D], and decide which is the best answer. Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 2 with a single line through the centre.
11. [A] At the department store. [C] In the restaurant.
[B] At the office. [D] In the drug store.
12. [A] The man shouldn't expect her to go along.
[B] She doesn't think she has enough money.
[C] She'll go even though the movie is bad.
[D] The man should count the number of people going.
13. [A] She wasn't really studying.
[B] She hadn't finished writing her articles.
[C] She had furnished her house.
[D] She could write beautifully.
14. [A] The problem may have been a very complicated one.
[B] No one can do it.
[C] The woman thinks that the problem is too easy.
[D] The man can solve the problem himself.
15. [A] The janitor is too busy to do his work.
[B] The sanitary conditions of an apartment.
[C] The relationship between the janitor and the two speakers.
[D] The architecture of a building.
16. [A] He can't tear either piece of cloth. [C] The pieces of cloth are made by a secret process.
[B] He wants part of each piece of cloth. [D] The pieces of cloth seem identical to him.
17. [A] Tuesday. [C] Thursday.
[B] Wednesday. [D] Friday.
18. [A] A photographer's camera. [C] A movie camera.
[B] A television camera. [D] The man's own camera.
Questions 19 to 22 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
19. [A] Memories of a recent storm. [C] Weather patterns that can affect Florida.
[B] How strong winds develop into a hurricane. [D] Planning a summer vacation.
20. [A] Late summer is sunny season. [C] Late summer is rainy season.
[B] Late summer is hurricane season. [D] Late summer is cloudy season.
21. [A] Wind speed. [C] Water temperature.
[B] Rainfall. [D] Direction of approach.
22. [A] By name. [C] By location.
[B] By number. [D] By month.
Questions 23 to 25 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
23. [A] Her professor did not like her story.
[B] She had trouble finishing her assignment.
[C] She did not like the topic she had chosen for her paper.
[D] She was taking too many courses.
24. [A] Take some extra time. [C] Do some work for another course.
[B] Do a writing exercise. [D] Write the story ending first.
25. [A] To go shopping. [C] To meet with her professor.
[B] To do research for her story. [D] To take a break from her work.
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