Silent-operating hybrid, electric cars can remain that way for a while longer

By Shawn Knight
Nov 25, 2015
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  1. While some gearheads love the sound of an 8-cylinder symphony at their disposal, other drivers prefer an auto that’s as quiet as possible. Indeed, that’s one of the perceived benefits of owning an all-electric vehicle as they are nearly silent at low speeds under light throttle.

    Unfortunately for that demographic, there’s another group of people that may ultimately force electric cars to be a bit noisier: those with visual impairments.

    As CNET points out, Congress passed the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act in 2010 which would require silent-operating vehicles like electrics and hybrids to emit an audible sound when traveling at speeds in which things like tire noise or wind resistance are too quiet for pedestrians to hear.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was supposed to finalize its mandate by January 2014. That deadline was ultimately pushed back to November of this year and yet again, the NHTSA is pushing it back – this time, until March 2016. The administration said additional coordination was needed but failed to elaborate further on the delay.

    Once the rules are set, automakers will be given 18 months to comply.

    The NHTSA estimates the mandate will reduce the number of pedestrian and cyclist injuries by 2,800 each year. While some automakers like Nissan have voluntarily added such systems to their vehicles, others are concerned that the alerts will be too loud or too complicated. There's also the issue of cost. In the first year alone, implementing the alert system would cost the auto industry an estimated $23 million.

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  2. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,373   +310

    Already got planned to make all the audible sounds allah akbar on my electric car, glad to see the US taking a book out of EU making innovation worse by making electric cars be more like pollution cars and trying to make innovators make petrol cars more quieter!
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,617   +494

    "There's also the issue of cost. In the first year alone, implementing the alert system would cost the auto industry an estimated $23 million."

    Oh No! How could a TRILLION dollar industry ever survive such an absorbent amount of money, poor guys are going to have to split the cost among the dozens or so manufacturers, that's like, $2 million each. That's it, bail out time!

    Honestly it's an insignificant cost to ensure the safety of pedestrians, but understandably it's going to be a real challenge to add a beeper to these electric cars, now what's the complicated part? How to power it, or where to place it? Bunch of damn derps.
    Reehahs likes this.
  4. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Addict Posts: 164   +70

    Just force the electric cars to play bass heavy heavy metal as soon as they turn on. Who doesn't like heavy metal?
    Adhmuz likes this.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 906   +242

    Why spend all this time and money thinking about such a simple thing? Remember the old playing card flapping between the spokes your bicycle wheel when you were a kid?

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