[Nfbmo] car-makers agree to make electrics noiser.

fred olver goodfolks at charter.net
Thu Oct 7 19:17:23 UTC 2010

        FYI. Just thought some would find this article interesting.

Carmakers Agree to Make Electric Cars Noisier.
by Peter Valdes-Dapena.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Automakers and advocates for the blind have 
agreed on a plan to address an unintended problem caused by electric and

hybrid cars: They endanger sight-impaired and distracted pedestrians
they make no noise when running on electric power.
The groups joined together to present Congress with a proposal for
noise levels that future electric cars would have to make.
Sometimes even sighted pedestrians can be unaware of the cars' approach:
a person who walks my dog in Virginia, where there are no sidewalks,
been startled by hybrid cars, too," said Gloria Bergquist, vice
president of 
the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
If you watch Weeds, you know that 4 out of 5 gangsters and drug dealers 
prefer the Prius for stealthy drive-by shootings. (SP).
A study done last year by the National Highway Traffic Safety
showed that hybrid cars tend to hit pedestrians more often than other
in situations where the approaching car cannot be seen.
The AAM, along with the Association of International Automobile 
Manufacturers, the American Council for the Blind and the National 
Federation for the Blind, presented Congress with suggested language
could become part of the Motor Safety Act of 2010, a bill now moving
Congress that would create a host of new auto safety rules.
The proposed language would have NHTSA create a new safety standard for 
electrically powered cars involving some sort of minimum sound required
operating at low speeds. At higher speeds, wind and tire noise are
enough to make the car detectable.
The sound couldn't be just anything. For instance, vehicle owners would
be able to "customize" the sound of their car the same way they can
ringtones for cell phones. That's specifically prohibited in the
rule. Instead, car manufacturers would provide an approved sound or set
sounds for a given make and model of car.
It would be up to NHTSA to set the minimum noise level a vehicle would
to make at givens speeds and to determine what sort of sounds would be 
allowed. The sounds would need to communicate something about the car's 
speed and acceleration, just as the sound of a rumbling gasoline engine 

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