Automakers Complain EV "Noisemakers" for the Blind Are Too Loud
March 19, 2013 9:22 AM
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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.
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3/19/2013 12:02:52 PM
Yeah they can't look, so what are they doing out and about in traffic? Seriously.
It's understandable they don't want to be cooped up indoors all their lives, but this is a seeing person's world. It's never going to be safe for blind people, warning noise on EVs or not.
Get an eye-dog, or the companion of a person with working vision. Gods know I wouldn't be stumbling around on my own in or even near traffic if I was blind. It's common sense.
3/19/2013 1:04:43 PM
Who needs common sense? Obama will take care of everyone, relax. /sarcasm
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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