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Sounds and blind pedestrians. Hope not in Europe


IOW EV:s need a "Beep! Beep! Beep!" whenever they are driven slowly. That's like 1600 laws where people driving cars needed a person running in front of the vehicle with red flag.

I hope European version doesn't have that noisemaker. If it does and I buy it, first thing I will do is use wire cutters to disable that system.

I wonder what that means to Roadsters already sold. Or MiEV:s or any other car with silent engines.

I have to wonder if there have EVER been ANY instances of EVs hitting blind pedestrians. More nanny-state preventative legislation, solutions for non-problems.

Many well-muffled cars can only be detected by road noise as they approach.

I can't believe that our government has nothing better to worry about than the lack of noise from electric vehicles.

Voted, which included joining, closed account. I just hope they have some kind of privacy policy and not be any spammer crapsite.

That was fast. Hear from voting possibility at 23 December, vote ends before 6 January. That's about two weeks, and already it managed to get over 100 signatures.

Someone has already demonstrated that tire noise is the predominant sound these days coming from most cars.
Notice that any proposals concerning this, if they were logical, would be based on the amount of noise a particular car must make,
not based simply on whether the car is electric or not. It's
been 20 years since I noticed that I couldn't hear a Toyota or Honda car - their engines simply didn't make any noise. People that are proposing these nonsensical rules should be informed as
to the fallacies of their ideas. They're based on false assumptions.

Some recent data that will reignite the debate:

Follow the links and read the original documents. There is nothing definitive there few samples and possible missing data due to accidents that didn't fit narrow profile. Mostly an opportunity for prejudice. Always read the original documents if possible. Reporting is lamentably poor.

Citations are important, too.

Absolutely Thumper. There's usually some agenda.

From the news release:

"When hybrids operate in electric-only mode pedestrians can't hear them approaching," says Moore, "so they might step out into the roadway without checking first to see what's coming."

The pedestrian *might* also be called a jaywalker.

Moore points out that HLDI can't definitively tell from the claims data that a crash involved a pedestrian.

Can you imagine trying to introduce a gasoline powered car if all cars were electric? Everyone would be crying about how combustible the fuel is for the vehicle and it can't possibly be safe enough to use.

Ok, I apologize that I quoted the news report rather than the source in this case. That's precisely what I don't like when others do it. Thumper, your comment is spot on.

Nevertheless, others will make the same mistake and the debate will be reignited. I'm curious where it's heading at. I think a "soft horn" to make pedestrians aware with some futuristic sound is probably the best solution -- where the sound is only played when the driver presses a button. The button may have a lock position though, so that the sound can be permanently play in situations where it seems appropriate.

I want my "soft horn!" And I want it to sound like a bicycle bell!

I think the noise machine is crazy but the government statements asking for comment did not leave any doubt. The government plans to require noise. They comments they solicited were only to comment on types and volume.

Hi-frequency noise is "aimable"; a quietly piercing whistle projected from the nose would be inaudible to those inside. >:)

I hope they'd just hear my premium radio through the open pano roof.

But if I have to have a sound... I want horse galloping. Some neighing and so on too. Make everybody stop and notice!

But, then again, won't be a problem for a Model S in 2012:

"Earlier this year, Congress gave the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration three years to come up with a requirement for equipping hybrids and electric models with sounds to alert unsuspecting pedestrians.

Moore cited an article by CNN recognizing that Japan is the only place to have such a safety requirement."

Read more:

Maybe in the 2015 models, Tesla will allow you to customize...

"Hey, idiot pedestrian, look up from your electronic device and stop jaywalking."

... in 7 different languages.

I like that Robert.Boston suggestion. From my time as pedestrian I don't pay much attention to car horns because I'm not walking on the street, but bicycle bell causes slight panic because I know that there might be someone cycling at 50mph at sidewalk coming towards me. I have had close call with cyclists like that several times. It seems that some of them have no concept about proper situation speed.

Actually some accidents with hybrids and pedestrians are probably with cyclists. Bicycles use their ears quite a bit to figure out if there is anything nearby.

My neighbors complained about the loud engine music coming from my Ferrari with Tubi exhaust. It would be funny, if my Model S has a virtual Ferrari engine sound too, if the law requires a pedestrian noisemaker on EVs. I guess it makes no difference whether people complain of noise on a Ferrari or EVs. I think this noisemaker for EVs is a real joke and a stupidest idea. What's the point of having horns on our steering wheel, if that is it's purpose?

Seriously. The horn should be all we need. Wouldn't it be our responsibility as drivers to honk at that dude walking into the street while talking to his buddy on the corner going the other direction?

Maybe a "horn app" which would, upon initiation, pipe a preprogrammed mp3 file at low volume outside. Use it or don't, as you wish and the law allows.

Last time I checked there were plenty of (7 billion) people to go around ;) do we really need more noise?

Unfortunately the bureaucrats have spoken. We *will* have noise generators on EVs regardless of the true necessity.

If we have to have a noise generator (I'm opposed) then at least it should have some soft, futuristic sound that's appropriate for an EV, not some ridiculous beeper sound like the one that's typical when trucks or heavy equipment back up. Better, of course, it to have a variety of sounds (like a smart phone ringtone list) to choose from.

Most likely that's what it'll have. The sound made by the Leaf is very unobtrusive.

I wonder if anyone's been hit by a Leaf and when asked why they didn't hear it, they said, "yeah, but I just assumed it was a gerbil". :)

Contrary to my ultra-sonic suggestion above, perhaps what people are reacting to is "felt" subsonics from the ICE cars' engines. A 15Hz rumble would be inaudible, but perhaps sensed.

If we have to have a noise, we should choose from a variety of noises similar to cell phone ring tones.

I would choose the noise from the Jetsons spaceship.

Correction: hi-frequency (not ultra-sonic). Although there's a new technology for aiming crossing ultrasonic frequencies at a particular point, and imposing a signal on them as a "beat" frequency difference -- audible only where the beams cross!
Military versions:

The noise the Leaf makes is rather Jetsonish.

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