To be sure, no one has displayed any statistics proving that pedestrian accidents are on the upswing as a result of more hybrids on the road. But automakers are likely to take the matter seriously. And if they do, they may have to deal with a parallel issue: A growing number of pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists can’t hear quiet vehicles because they wear headphones and listen to music while they travel.
Undoubtedly, automakers want their vehicles to be safe. The question is: How loud is loud enough?
Could our view of distant galaxies be obstructed by a lawnmower? That unlikely question is at the heart of a growing debate between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and a robot manufacturer that seeks to build self-guided lawnmowers.
Design News readers spoke loudly and clearly after our recent news story about a resurgence in manufacturing -- and manufacturing jobs. Commenters doubted the manufacturers, describing them as H-1B visa promoters, corporate crybabies, and clowns. They argued that US manufacturers aren’t willing to train workers, preferring instead to import cheap labor from abroad.
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