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Automakers want the phase-in schedule to be pushed from 2016 to 2018

Automakers have requested a delay regarding the rollout of alert systems for "quiet cars" since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) seems to be a bit behind on the final regulation.
According to The Detroit News, NHTSA was supposed to issue the final regulation by January 3 of this year, but now says it won't be ready until the end of April 2015. 
In response, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Association of Global Automakers -- the two major auto trade groups -- wrote a letter to NHTSA asking it to delay the phase-in period that was planned for 2016 to September 2018 instead. 
“Unfortunately, the final rule was not published prior to the Jan. 4, 2014 congressional deadline and based on the ongoing dialogue that has been occurring between NHTSA and stakeholders, it is apparent that there remains a great deal of uncertainty as to the content of the final requirements,” the letter said. “The agency should forgo the phase-in and go directly to full implementation” on Sept. 1, 2018, because “manufacturers will have very little time to develop and put into the production compliant systems in time.”
The automakers further added that if the phase-in schedule isn't dropped, it should be pushed back to begin in September 2017 and allow automakers with three or fewer EVs to have until 2018 for full compliance.

The idea behind the alerts is that hybrid and electric vehicles are mainly silent at speeds of less than 18 mph, when tire and wind noise is insignificant. This means that pedestrians -- especially children and those with disabilities or are hard of hearing -- could get seriously hurt if they're crossing the street and don't hear a car coming.
NHTSA has been looking into this topic since 2007, and it planned to phase in the new rules starting in the 2016 model year. 
NHTSA expects the proposal will cost the auto industry about $23 million USD during the first year, and that the cost of adding a speaker system to comply with the requirements to be around $35 per vehicle. 
However, automakers fought the proposal, saying the costs of components could be five times as high as that estimate. They also added that the new alert systems would be annoying
The new rules would also apply to electric motorcycles and heavy-duty vehicles. 
In other related news, the NHTSA recently said that in-vehicle technology for preventing parents from leaving kids in the car "isn't ready." 
NHTSA Administrator David Friedman and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx held a press conference in Washington, DC to urge parents not to forget their children in cars, especially during warm days when they can suffer from heatstroke. 
“The technology that’s out there just isn’t reliable enough to put your child’s life in the hands of. That’s why the message today is really one about making sure that we get into the habit of looking before we lock. Never leave a child alone in a car,” Friedman said. “The technology isn’t there yet. We’re continuing to look at any new product that’s available in the marketplace but it’s just not there right now.”
NHTSA said about 38 children die from being left alone in cars for long periods of time each year. Of these deaths, 30 percent are linked to children getting into unlocked, unattended vehicles; 17 percent are linked to parents intentionally leaving their children in vehicles, and 51 percent are because parents forget the child was left behind.
This is especially a hot topic right now, considering stories like that of Justin Ross Harris of Cobb Country, Georgia, who left his 22-month-old son in a hot car for hours until the child died. 

Sources: The Detroit News [1], [2]

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Why not just an alarm?
By SublimeSimplicity on 7/25/2014 3:00:41 PM , Rating: 2
If the temp in the car gets over some threshold and there's a noise/movement inside the car, you set off an alarm.

RE: Why not just an alarm?
By Manch on 7/25/2014 3:03:53 PM , Rating: 2
For the same reason everyone ignores car alarms now. No one will check. They may throw a bottle at it and yell at you to turn that d@mn thing off!

RE: Why not just an alarm?
By fic2 on 7/25/14, Rating: 0
RE: Why not just an alarm?
By FaaR on 7/25/14, Rating: -1
RE: Why not just an alarm?
By invidious on 7/25/2014 5:17:53 PM , Rating: 3
If these solutions were half as good at saving the kids as they are at wasting money then we might actually be onto something.

RE: Why not just an alarm?
By atechfan on 7/25/2014 9:53:05 PM , Rating: 4
To run the A/C, you need to start the engine. You think people want their engines just routinely starting themselves on hot days? Perhaps a better solution is to not be stupid enough to lock your kids in the car. How the hell does someone walk away from a vehicles and not notice their kids are not with them?

Some safety features, like seatbelts, make sense. They have a very broad usability, as, unfortunately, crashes are not uncommon. Automatic kid sensing and car cooling, on the other hand, relates to one very specific, and very stupid, event.

RE: Why not just an alarm?
By FaaR on 7/27/14, Rating: 0
RE: Why not just an alarm?
By M'n'M on 7/27/2014 11:10:16 AM , Rating: 3
The compressor could run on electricity. You don't have an ICE in your fridge, do you?

I hope you're kidding. Force the redesign of every car with A/C to save 38 people/year ? Force to a less efficient design at a time when the govt is increasing CAFE requirements ?

I have a better solution. If I have time I'll post it ... but parents w/kids won't like it since it'll bear ($s, loss of choice) on them and not on others.

RE: Why not just an alarm?
By FITCamaro on 7/28/2014 8:29:19 AM , Rating: 3
Car batteries only last so long.

RE: Why not just an alarm?
By flyingpants1 on 7/28/2014 11:03:38 AM , Rating: 2
To run the A/C, you need to start the engine.

Not in an EV.

RE: Why not just an alarm?
By Moishe on 7/30/2014 8:05:21 PM , Rating: 2
I'm gonna love the pranks where people trick the EV into thinking that there is a kid inside and the owner comes out of the mall to a dead battery.


RE: Why not just an alarm?
By Manch on 7/26/2014 11:37:34 AM , Rating: 3
How about people take responsibility and keep their kids safe.

FYI, Volvo built their reputation on selling safer cars, but they gave away the most important safety device ever invented: the three-point seat belt.

RE: Why not just an alarm?
By FITCamaro on 7/28/2014 8:17:33 AM , Rating: 2
So do you not own a car then so you don't have to give your money to those uncaring, greedy sociopaths?

Put your money where your big mouth is punk.

RE: Why not just an alarm?
By Manch on 7/26/2014 11:33:39 AM , Rating: 5
Or keep track of your kid, keep your keys away from your kid so they cant unlock it, and dont leave them in the car.

Billions of people have grown up without this nonsense just fine.

RE: Why not just an alarm?
By GotThumbs on 7/25/2014 4:00:53 PM , Rating: 2
It's an idea, but some scum lawyer would sue the manufacture if any child still died, even though it was due to the negligence/stupidity of the parent.

Putting blame on others is a national past-time these days. Just look to our <extreme sarcasm> fearless leader </extreme sarcasm> , this year alone.

Bottom line, Parents are the number one factor in the care and safety of their children.

Putting any level of responsibility on car manufactures or the government is a cop-out and just feeds today's liberal idea that the government should take care of everything for us.

If that's the case, then lets just have a national mandatory requirement that hospitals immediately take newborns away from the parents and directly to the yet to be created 'National organization for child rearing' office.

People in this society need to wake up and start taking responsibility again.

RE: Why not just an alarm?
By SublimeSimplicity on 7/25/2014 4:44:16 PM , Rating: 3
Bottom line, Parents are the number one factor in the care and safety of their children.

I totally agree, but I'm an engineer. So when there's an unsolved problem, my mind goes immediately to an overcomplicated technical solution. It's an illness.

RE: Why not just an alarm?
By Manch on 7/26/2014 11:39:02 AM , Rating: 2
Considering your username, that gave me a good laugh :D

By therealnickdanger on 7/28/2014 8:10:15 AM , Rating: 2
"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

RE: Why not just an alarm?
By DanNeely on 7/25/2014 4:23:34 PM , Rating: 2
In addition to being widely ignored because 99.99% of the time it just means someone pressed the I'm an Idiot button on his/her remote: Sleeping kids won't be moving at all; babies strapped in car seats have very limited mobility.

RE: Why not just an alarm?
By Dr of crap on 7/29/2014 12:51:54 PM , Rating: 2
Here's a MUCH better solution,

How about making the ones that did the deed, and I'm going to use a word no one wants to hear - responsible!

It YOUR responsibility to NOT leave kids, animals in the car on hot days. IT'S CALLED COMMON SENSE. I know, no one uses it anymore or takes the blame for anything anymore.
Not MY problem. I don't leave kids in the car, and DO NOT NEED my car to help me out with such crap. Kind of like the backup cameras, NOT NEEDED!

RE: Why not just an alarm?
By Moishe on 7/30/2014 8:03:56 PM , Rating: 2
Why not just hire a government babysitter to babysit all the citizens to make sure that there are no consequences for being stupid, lazy, irresponsible, etc.

That way we encourage stupidity and get away from the laws of nature where the weakest get culled.

Oh lord
By Manch on 7/25/2014 2:56:48 PM , Rating: 3
At 18mph, between the driver, the pedestrian and what not, a little education would go along way. Instead of mandating every nanny device they can think of to protect people from stupid drivers, how about standardizing the training to get a fricken license?! I've seen the requirements and some people should not but are issued licenses. I've seen drivers test that are cones in a dirt field, or some where they just make you drive around the block and not even parallel park.

F@#$K driver responsibility, we will just mandate more nanny crap into cars...

RE: Oh lord
By fic2 on 7/25/2014 4:03:52 PM , Rating: 3
I'd like to see some pedestrian responsibility, too.
Fairly regularly I see people cross into streets or parking lots without even bothering to look.
When I was a kid I was taught to look both ways before crossing a street or other area where cars are driven. Apparently we can't even teach that basic concept now.

RE: Oh lord
By Manch on 7/26/2014 11:43:02 AM , Rating: 3
Here in Norway, even though they are supposed to look, bc pedestrians have the right of way they will step out on you with little regard. Cyclists are supposed to have their feet down to be considered pedestrians but dont and will cut you off with regularity. If you hit either, it will be your fault regardless. absolutely stupid

RE: Oh lord
By marvdmartian on 7/28/2014 8:27:49 AM , Rating: 2
Tiffany pointed out a number of instances where you might have someone with a real need for the noise makers, but missed the most important one.

How does a blind person check both ways, before crossing the street? Granted, they have to wait for the audible signal to cross, but if an inattentive driver in a hybrid or electric car is making a right on red, and doesn't notice the blind person crossing, how is that pedestrian now supposed to notice the vehicle??

Me, I say they just give them playing cards and clothes pins, so they make a noise as the cards snap against their spokes. ;)

RE: Oh lord
By M'n'M on 7/28/2014 7:03:26 PM , Rating: 1
Tiffany pointed out a number of instances where you might have someone with a real need for the noise makers, but missed the most important one. How does a blind person check both ways, before crossing the street?

How is this a problem to be solved w/more regulation on autos ? Given the ratio of cars to blind, shouldn't the regulation fall on the blind ? Tens of millions of cars, let alone EVs, will never pass by a blind person. A blind person is virtually guaranteed to encounter a car, perhaps even (rarely) an EV.

So why not require all blind people to buy a device to detect cars (at least) at your feared street crossings ? I can envision a system based on existing ultrasonic "sonars" that would work quite well. I could make one for $50. I'd expect real production to lower that price. Such a device would be used for more than avoiding quiet cars.

If the govt can require we buy insurance, why not this ?


RE: Oh lord
By Dr of crap on 7/29/2014 12:55:30 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you the voice of reason!

YOU know that the govt will NOT even consider that avenue!
Easier to make it mandatory in all cars.

RE: Oh lord
By marvdmartian on 7/30/2014 8:59:29 AM , Rating: 3
By golly, you're right! We should FORCE blind people to see! How dare they go walking around in OUR world, while not being able to see things!!

Why....we ought to just lock them up, until they agree to start having sight again!!

Geez, unwind yourself, dude, and make some sense, would you? Blind people get around just fine, and avoid walking out in front of cars they can hear. The problem is, cars under electric power are pretty damn quiet, and hard to hear.

I really hope you never suffer some debilitating handicap, that forces you to be dependent on others, cuz your sympathy karma balance is pretty damn low.

RE: Oh lord
By M'n'M on 7/30/2014 11:15:11 AM , Rating: 1
cuz your sympathy karma balance is pretty damn low.

My sympathy karma is balanced, it's yours that's out of whack w/any sense of reason. I'm not punishing the blind, I'm helping them. And likely in more ways than just avoiding quiet cars. If a technological fix is the answer, why should 100's of millions pay to produce an effect generally thought to be detrimental (more noise pollution) to the masses and only benefiting the few when those few could pay the same, achieve the same (or better) end result and w/o the noise pollution ? Are the blind less able, as a group, to absorb the small cost ? I'm sure some govt program to help those needy would be applied.

Government involvement?
By Nortel on 7/25/2014 3:19:06 PM , Rating: 3
We seriously need to get the government involved to force vehicles from being *too quiet*? Having mandated "baby/dog left in car while hot" alarms? Lets take the blame completely away from adults and put it in the hands of Auto manufacturers... forced to by the Government?

This reads like an Onion article on how absurd this whole idea is. In either scenario, extra battery power is required to run these systems. Essentially playing a speaker with "engine sounds" to protect children from their own awareness? Sensors monitoring temperature and in car motion 24/7 when the car is off? Give me a break...

RE: Government involvement?
By Samus on 7/25/2014 4:09:06 PM , Rating: 3
I agree. This should be a feature of a vehicle, not a requirement. Toyota, for example, already offers it as an option on the Prius and Prius V.

This system is like mud flaps. They do nothing for you, but help people around/behind you. Yet many people get them installed anyway.

This just shouldn't be required. There is a place for government to step in and push safety devices but this is not on the level of most safety tech. I can hear an EV prowling down the street just fine, they just make a different high pitch brush-motor whine instead of a tailpipe rumble.

Sounds reasonable
By FITCamaro on 7/25/2014 5:29:43 PM , Rating: 1
We have to have mandated technology because of 38 bad parents a year. Absurd. While it's always tragic, the government mandating this crap is insane. Probably tens of millions of dollars spent because of parents not being responsible.

RE: Sounds reasonable
By M'n'M on 7/25/2014 8:57:37 PM , Rating: 2
We have to have mandated technology because of 38 bad parents a year.

This is stupider than even the backup cam legislation. 17% admit they did it on purpose. You have to wonder of the 51%, how many would admit the same if there weren't any criminal repercussions.

Isn't there some sport scandal that Congress can waste time looking into ? Shouldn't TPTB be looking into something that's at least on the top 1000 ways kids die list ?

RE: Sounds reasonable
By Flunk on 7/25/2014 9:12:05 PM , Rating: 2
I totally agree with you for once. All of these mandated features increase the cost of the car and are hugely unnecessary. Why not have visibility requirements they can meet without a camera to save money? I'm not even convinced staring at the dash instead of where you're going is safe.

Alarms for everything? Where is this going to end. I think I'm going to have to buy a new car before they add any more stupid requirements. Why do they require electronic stability control on all new cars? Why do front-drive small cars need ESC?

Horse feet
By wordsworm on 7/26/2014 12:56:39 PM , Rating: 3
I was thinking that it would be funny to put speakers on a silent car that makes the sound of a horse walking on cobble. When people get to close, you can get that horse cough. Hit the horn and you get a bull's bellow.

Cowboys would love that, no?

By Arsynic on 7/28/2014 9:49:17 AM , Rating: 2
You don't need technology to address every instance of people being irresponsible or stupid. You can't eradicate stupidity by means of legislation or invention.

I've never left my kid in the car. I've put the kid in the car and left the groceries in the shopping cart and drove off, but I never even mistakenly left a kid in the car and billions of people have never done this as well. It's not a widespread problem and it's not an epidemic so it doesn't need to be fixed.

You can't invent or legislate away stupid and irresponsible people.

More rubbish
By macca007 on 7/29/2014 3:50:56 AM , Rating: 2
I think for once I can finally speak on a subject from a personal experience. o.O

As a kid I was very conscious when crossing roads, Always looked but this one day when I was 9 I didn't for some silly reason was excited over something, Sure enough had to be a car there and under it I went. lol
Lost half an ankle as car driver panicked and braked so fast he actually stopped while front tyre was still on my foot! Mum came running out screaming to get off, Lots of blood last thing I remember is being put on the car bonnet while ambulance was on it's way. All my fault and I learned a lesson!
Anyway point to the whole story is, It's up to the fkn pedestrian not the car driver/manufacturer to watch where they are going! If you are deaf then no alarm is going to help ,You need to look, If you are blind you wouldn't distinguish the EV from the noisy old car or modified exhaust next to it anyways and should have guidance from someone else to cross.
As for kids left in cars, Solution is to sterilise the parents(joking or am I? hmmm). They alone should take full responsibility not car industry. It's like all these mums/dads now driving large SUV's, Yet even with reverse cameras I still see the odd story on news that they are still reversing over their own children in the driveways when in a rush. Tech doesn't always solve the problem of stupidity.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

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