Print 52 comment(s) - last by monkeyman1140.. on May 28 at 4:15 PM

All-electric Tesla Roadster
One of the benefits of having an electric car is about to be erased

There are many good things about hybrids and electric vehicles. They save fuel costs for the drivers and produce less pollution. However, for some people hybrids and electric cars pose a big problem, particularly for the visually impaired.

A bill was proposed in April of 2009 in the Senate that would force automakers producing electric and hybrid vehicles to integrate a system that would produce sound when the vehicles are running on electric power alone. Many hybrids and electric vehicle running at low speeds produce no sound to alert a pedestrian that the vehicle is coming.

CNN reports that a study conducted last year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that hybrid cars tend to hit pedestrians more often than other cars because the pedestrians can't hear the car approach, particularly in areas where the car can't be seen. Ahead of any legislation by Washington, carmakers have agreed with blind advocates to propose plans to Congress for minimum noise levels on hybrid and electric cars.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Association of International Automobile Manufactures, the National Federation for the Blind, and the American Council for the Blind have banded together to propose language to be included in the Motor Safety Act of 2010. This bill would create a number of new safety rules for automakers; some of these rules are to address issues like unintended acceleration.

While the exact details of the proposed sounds for hybrid and electric cars are unknown,
CNN reports that the sound would mimic the sound patterns of internal combustion engines at low speeds with rising intensity as the vehicle moves faster. This would allow blind pedestrians to determine if a vehicle was idle at a stop light or accelerating from a standstill. The NHTSA would be in charge of choosing the sound and setting the minimum level.

And for those looking to “pimp your ride”, you wouldn't be able to customize the sound coming from the vehicle.

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Not enough
By nafhan on 5/24/2010 12:57:37 PM , Rating: 3
I'm going to start a campaign for mandatory reflectors on all pedestrians. I don't have the numbers yet, but I'm pretty sure that far fewer pedestrians wearing bright orange reflective vests get hit by cars. Secondly, pedestrians should be required to scream "I'm crossing the street" while transiting a motorized vehicle through way.
This audio/visual pedestrian identification update would cost less than $20 per pedestrian and can be retrofitted onto existing models with little effort. Yeah, safety!

RE: Not enough
By lelias2k on 5/24/2010 1:57:10 PM , Rating: 1
Except that the pedestrian is not the one who's going to kill who's in the car. (not in most cases anyway...)

While I do think that pedestrian need to be more responsible, that doesn't change the fact that drivers are the ones "carrying a loaded gun."


RE: Not enough
By wolrah on 5/25/2010 2:07:14 AM , Rating: 2
While I do think that pedestrian need to be more responsible, that doesn't change the fact that drivers are the ones "carrying a loaded gun."

The pedestrians we're complaining about are about equivalent to someone running across a military gun range during target practice with automatic weapons, to run with the gun analogy. The retards who walk out from blind areas without even looking or jaywalk at night while wearing all dark clothing. As far as I'm concerned drivers shouldn't have to worry in the slightest about these idiots. They're intentionally putting themselves in harm's way, it's their own fault if they get hit and I have no sympathy for any injury or death that may result. If you care about your life, don't walk out in to traffic.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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