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Electronics & Test
NHTSA Wants Hybrids, EVs to Be Noisier
1/16/2013

Toyota's Prius uses a Vehicle Proximity Notification System under the hood that emits additional engine-like noises below 15mph.   (Source: Toyota)
Toyota's Prius uses a Vehicle Proximity Notification System under the hood that emits additional engine-like noises below 15mph.
(Source: Toyota)

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VadimR
User Rank
Gold
Re: Feel ambivalent about this
VadimR   1/17/2013 2:46:42 PM
I average 18mph (burst of up to 30mph) on a7 mile ride and I have never been unable to hear approaching cars from behind.  Do I trust my ears alone? No.  But I've never been surprised by Prius, Volt, Tesla Roadster, or any other hybrid or electric vehicles.  In biking events or on bike paths I can even hear approaching bicycles from behind (bike chain, wind, and tire noise).  So I'm surprised that wind noise overpowers car noises for you.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Colorful commentary
Elizabeth M   1/17/2013 2:37:46 PM
It's been interesting to see all the comments about this! Obviously it's struck a nerve...and danger aside, I'm happy to see a number of people less than thrilled about the idea of noisier hybrids and EVs. There has to be a better solution.

Burch
User Rank
Iron
Reminds me of....
Burch   1/17/2013 2:25:50 PM
NO RATINGS
The Locomotive Acts (or Red Flag Acts) were a series of Acts of Parliament in the United Kingdom to control the use of mechanically propelled vehicles on British public highways during the latter part of the 19th century.

...

The 1865 act required all road locomotives, which included automobiles, to travel at a maximum of 4 mph (6 km/h) in the country and 2 mph (3 km/h) in towns and have a crew of three travel, one of whom should carry a red flag walking 60 yards (55 m) ahead of each vehicle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locomotive_Acts

Cheers....

eafpres
User Rank
Gold
Re: Another stupid idea...
eafpres   1/17/2013 2:12:25 PM
NO RATINGS
Yes, the link works and it is very quick.

eafpres
User Rank
Gold
Re: Noisier EVs
eafpres   1/17/2013 1:51:11 PM
NO RATINGS
Backup audible warning is already implemented on most trucks, commercial vehicles, municipal vehicles, etc.  That is not a bad idea; the driver has limited view, and risk is higher.  But that is totally different than always on noise generators.

mr88cet
User Rank
Silver
Re: Another stupid idea...
mr88cet   1/17/2013 1:50:49 PM
NO RATINGS
Again, to comment,

     http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=NHTSA-2011-0148-0075

worked for me.  It took a few minutes...

eafpres
User Rank
Gold
Re: Another stupid idea...
eafpres   1/17/2013 1:48:17 PM
NO RATINGS
greenewr--thanks for posting the link.  There is a process.  If enough people comment, it might make a difference one way or another.

eafpres
User Rank
Gold
Re: Feel ambivalent about this
eafpres   1/17/2013 1:43:11 PM
Extra: Noun: An item in addition to what is usual or strictly necessary.

If you have to add the noise to an EV or Hybrid, it is extra.  The world is way too noisy today.

While they are at it, why not ban wearing earbuds, headphones, hats covering the ears, earplugs, earmuffs, or anything else which reduces the auditory acuity of pedestrians?

We have too many rules, too many regulations, too many laws.

EdV
User Rank
Iron
Re: Feel ambivalent about this
EdV   1/17/2013 1:42:13 PM
NO RATINGS
Whatever sound the car comes with, it should be downloadable like ring tones. It would be a huge market and create lots of new value - and annoyance.

eafpres
User Rank
Gold
Re: Feel ambivalent about this
eafpres   1/17/2013 1:37:12 PM
NO RATINGS
I support a rule requiring EV drivers to crank their stereos below 15 mph.  Would be easy to implement in the electronics already there, and cost nothing.

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