Nissan Motor Co. says it will add sounds to the Leaf electric car to serve as a warning to pedestrians. The sounds are designed as a safety measure, given the fact that pure electric vehicles are nearly silent, even when they travel at fairly high speeds.
The Washington Post reports that Nissan explored more a hundred sounds ranging from chimes to artificial motor noises before settling on a soft whine that will increase with intensity as the car moves faster in forward gears. Nissan engineers reportedly have added a clanging sound to alert pedestrians when the vehicle backs up.
A Nissan statement explained the decision by saying, “While silence is golden, it does present practical challenges.”
Some cars are more reliable than others, but even the vehicles at the bottom of this year’s Consumer Reports reliability survey are vastly better than those of 20 years ago in the key areas of powertrain and hardware, experts said this week.
As it does every year, Consumers Union recently surveyed its members on the reliability of their vehicles. This year, it collected data on approximately 1.1 million cars and trucks, categorizing the members’ likes and dislikes, not only of their vehicles, but of the vehicle sub-systems, as well.
A few weeks ago, Ford Motor Co. quietly announced that it was rolling out a new wrinkle to the powerful safety feature called stability control, adding even more lifesaving potential to a technology that has already been very successful.
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