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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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By xmichaelx on 5/24/2010 3:50:17 PM , Rating: 3
I hit a pedestrian on my motorcycle once. Turned a corner, and there was a guy strolling across the road in heavy traffic like he was walking through the park. His leg snapped like a twig, and the nice cops gave him a jaywalking ticket as he lied there on the asphalt moaning.

People who jaywalk IN TRAFFIC get what they deserve.


"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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