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Some sports cars won't pass minimum noise rules according to automakers

The Obama administration instituted a so-called "quiet cars" rule that would force automakers to add noisemakers to electric and nearly silent vehicles to help alert blind pedestrians. However, major automakers are now complaining that the ruling would result in warning sounds that are too loud.
Two major automotive trade groups to represent the big three in Detroit, Toyota, Volkswagen, and other major Asian and European automakers have voiced concerns about the proposed rules.

According to Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Association of Global Automakers, the rule, "is too complicated and is unnecessarily prescriptive. If implemented as proposed, it would result in alert sounds that are louder than necessary, create driver and occupant annoyance and cost more than necessary."

Tesla Model S EV

The proposal by the NHTSA would set minimum sound levels for both hybrid and electric vehicles for pedestrians, and specifically to alert visually impaired people. According to automakers, the rules as they are proposed would create electric vehicles that are louder than some high-performance sports cars.

The NHTSA wants to add these noise rules for silent vehicles because the odds of a hybrid vehicle being involved in a crash with a pedestrian are 19% higher compared to vehicles with traditional gasoline or diesel engines. The likelihood of hybrid vehicle being involved in an accident with a bicyclist is reportedly 38% higher. The new rules set forth by the NHTSA are supposed to begin implementation in September 2014.

If the NHTSA refuses to change the rules, auto manufacturers want the phase in to be extended to 2018. Adding the noisemakers is estimated to cost an additional $35 per vehicle and to cost automotive industry $23 million the first year. As the rule stands now the minimum sound requirements would apply at vehicles at speeds of up to 18.6 mph.

Source: Detroit News

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By SublimeSimplicity on 3/19/2013 9:51:19 AM , Rating: 3
Motion sensors technology is what? 60 years old? Wouldn't it be safer to create a wearable motion sensor for the blind to alert them of anything moving towards them?

Are we going to require all bikes to have a baseball card in their spokes?

RE: Technology
By nglessner on 3/19/2013 10:47:29 AM , Rating: 1
Bikes are ~20lbs. Most cars are 10x that. Physics says it's more important to protect against collisions with cars.

I'll also go out on a limb here and add: Cyclists are far more aware of their surroundings than cars - it's just the way it is.

RE: Technology
By jRaskell on 3/19/2013 10:57:27 AM , Rating: 3
I'll also go out on a limb here and add: Cyclists are far more aware of their surroundings than cars - it's just the way it is.

That's a limb that's going to snap.

RE: Technology
By freedom4556 on 3/19/2013 11:55:51 AM , Rating: 3
Bikes are ~20lbs. Most cars are more like 175x that.

Fixed that for you.

RE: Technology
By Iketh on 3/19/2013 12:19:25 PM , Rating: 2
The person with the sensor would have to stand absolutely still to get an accurate reading...

RE: Technology
By SublimeSimplicity on 3/19/2013 12:46:55 PM , Rating: 3
True, I guess we'll have to wait for gyroscopes to be invented.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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