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The 2011 Nissan Leaf EV  (Source: The New York Times)
Critics like the basic premise, but say it was poorly executed

After a couple of years of debate about how to best handle the risk that silent electric vehicles pose to blind pedestrians, the 2011 Nissan Leaf EV offered up a creative solution -- artificial noises emitted while driving.  You might guess that blind rights advocates would be happy.

That guess would be incorrect, though.  The National Federation of the Blind said that while including an alert was a step in the right direction, the system was full of flaws.  Their biggest problem was with the fact that the driver could disable the alert.  States the group, "[We are] disappointed that the driver is permitted to turn off the sound.  [This] in effect, allows drivers to deactivate this important safety feature and thereby endanger pedestrians, especially those who are blind."

Chris Danielsen, a spokesman for the National Federation of the Blind complains, "The biggest thing with us is that we don’t think the driver should be able to switch the sound off."

When enabled, the group is okay with the standard driving warning sound, which they say is "sufficient to alert pedestrians".  However, they are also displeased with the reverse warning sound, which unlike the forward noise is not continuous.  They comment, "Intermittent sound is not as effective as a continuous sound."

Another complaint they have is that no warning sounds are emitted when the vehicle is idling.

The backup noises sounds somewhat like a ringing bell or submarine sonar, while the forward noise sounds somewhat like a jet tanking off (a whistle) -- or as  Mark Perry, the director for product planning at Nissan Americas puts it, "You know that show with David Hasselhoff, Knight Rider? The forward sound reminds me of what KITT sounded like."

The sounds are generate by a synthesizer under the hood and should not disturb passengers within the cockpit, thanks to insulating layers.  The sounds measure at 2.5 kHz at the high end of the spectrum to 600 Hz at the bottom.

Nissan recruited high profile help to develop the system, including, the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology, acoustic psychology experts from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a Hollywood sound design studio that was not identified.  Interestingly, The National Federation of the Blind -- the organization that is offering up the current criticism -- also helped provide design input for the system.

Perry defends the system against the recent criticism, stating, "They’re entitled to their opinions on the sounds turning off and what the sounds should be. The on-off switch by default is in the on position, and the driver has to make a decision each time to turn it off. The switch is there to balance the needs of drivers and pedestrians, though we think most owners will leave the system on because they can’t hear the sounds inside the car."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and legislators in Congress are currently working on legislation which would mandate noisemakers in electric vehicles.  There are no such current regulations; the Nissan system was implemented merely in good faith.


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I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By Boze on 6/21/2010 2:38:11 PM , Rating: 5
However...

According to CDC numbers, around 0.3% of the population is legally blind. I don't think that 0.3% of the population should be overly concerned about this. Its the responsibility of the driver to notice someone with a cane, or a dog, or both a dog and a cane (and anyone else trying to cross the street for that matter).

If you're too busy doing something in your car while driving, that you can't notice a blind person trying to cross the street, then you might want to stop:

Eating your Egg McMuffin
Putting on your gd makeup
Making a pointless cell phone call
Answering a pointless cell phone call
Sending a moronic text message
Reading a moronic text message
Reaching down to get something you dropped (that should have been properly stowed in the first place)
Turning around to tell your kid to stop hitting your other kid

Or a list of any other things that I can't think of at the moment that serve to cause as distractions while operating a motor vehicle.

Its a 1500 to 6000+ pound block of steel and/or flammable liquids... use a little gd caution and common sense while operating it.




RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By greylica on 6/21/10, Rating: 0
By YashBudini on 6/21/2010 5:30:33 PM , Rating: 2
Are you kidding? Isn't that borderline suicidal?


By mfed3 on 6/21/2010 2:51:02 PM , Rating: 3
THANK YOU. at least someone agrees with me.


RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By xler8r on 6/21/10, Rating: 0
RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By therealnickdanger on 6/21/2010 5:16:38 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
I understand there is a slew of more variables than there was when they made cars without belts (including higher car speeds).

Since the "old days" vehicle miles traveled (VMT) have been increasing , the number of licensed drivers have been increasing , the number of cars on the road have been increasing , and crashes (including fatalities) have been decreasing . Compare them using basic math and you'll quickly see that crash rates and fatality rates are plummeting over the decades.

http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Trends/TrendsGeneral...

(Older data, but just for one state)
http://www.dps.state.mn.us/OTS/crashdata/2009CFact...

Every crash is unique and varies by many factors ranging from actions by the driver during the split-seconds before impact to defects in the car to the overall negligence that led to it, but I can tell ya that if you bet on the belted occupant surviving every time, you would be ahead by a lot.

That being said, when it comes to pedestrians, they are simply S.O.L. in such a contest of physics.


By JediJeb on 6/22/2010 11:53:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Principle remains, is the belts making people irresponsible? Same goes for this, people should be increasingly aware with these vehicles... but we all know how people can be.


Is is a proven fact that when helmets were first required for Hockey players, the number of neck injuries almost doubled the next year. Simple reason was with a helmet the player wasn't as afraid to injure their head, and more were careless about sliding into the wall head first. False sense of security can be a dangerous thing.


RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By Jexel17 on 6/21/2010 3:30:52 PM , Rating: 5
Coming soon: Mufflers banned to assist the hard of hearing.


RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By kake on 6/21/2010 4:52:10 PM , Rating: 5
The classic, "loud pipes save lives," huh?


RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By YashBudini on 6/21/2010 5:18:51 PM , Rating: 1
Unfortunately the excess posterior orifices that ride loud bikes actually believe this urban myth. Either that or that's just the excuse they use to justify their nonsense.

The other day one of those bikes came out of a driveway and raced down the neighborhood street. On one porch was an infant sleeping, that is until the biker went by. After that the kid was still screaming while its mother tried to calm it down.

It takes a really tough guy to do that to an infant, doesn't it? It's bad enough they can't distinguish betweem respect and fear, but to torture babies and small animals, well I'm sure FitCamaro will come along and state his usual, "I don't give a shit.", which apparently makes it just.


RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By lelias2k on 6/21/2010 5:21:34 PM , Rating: 3
Or the traditional "I want what I want" whine. :)


RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By YashBudini on 6/21/2010 5:38:51 PM , Rating: 1
Well the irony about loud bikers is when you enforce any noise ordinances they get really whiny and say stuff like, "They are trying to take my rights away." So you get WAHHHHHH! no matter what you do.


By walk2k on 6/21/2010 6:03:04 PM , Rating: 3
What's the difference between a Harley and a vacuum cleaner?

The size of the dirtbag attached to the back.


RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By Regected on 6/21/2010 7:30:05 PM , Rating: 4
Don't forget to mention that the day before, the same mom almost hit a biker while she was trying to calm her baby in the back seat while driving down the road. The poor biker had a super quiet muffler and was never seen.

Give me a freaking break. I've ridden every day for the past 6 years, and can say, that without a doubt, loud pipes HAVE saved my life. People don't look for bikes, so at least they can hear me. Talk to a few bikers who have had friends killed by ignorant drivers before dishing out crap about a baby getting woken up while sleeping outside.


By Lazarus Dark on 6/21/2010 7:58:48 PM , Rating: 2
When the good weather came around this year... within one week I passed 6 (!) accidents where a biker was on the ground after being hit by a car. I'm not a biker, but I know several, including my mom. And I can definately say most drivers are NOT paying attention. Quite frankly, I don't even think a loud muffler or a sound synthesizer is going to help. These idiots will still hit someone either way.


RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By Creig on 6/22/2010 9:21:24 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
I've ridden every day for the past 6 years, and can say, that without a doubt, loud pipes HAVE saved my life. People don't look for bikes, so at least they can hear me. Talk to a few bikers who have had friends killed by ignorant drivers before dishing out crap about a baby getting woken up while sleeping outside.

Pure and utter B.S. You've ridden the past 6 years? I'm 42 and have been riding street bikes since I was 16, so that makes it 26 years for me. And not once was I ever in a situation where I thought to myself later, "Boy, if only I had loud pipes I might have avoided that close call".

Oncoming traffic and motorists at side streets don't hear you until AFTER you've gone past them because your exhaust noise is directed behind you. Which doesn't prevent anything. The only situation where loud pipes might alert a car driver is if they're lane changing on a multi-lane highway and you're alongside them in their blind spot. Even then, all you need is a loud horn on your bike if they start to move over into your lane, then they swerve back.

If noisy exhaust was really such a miraculous life saver, then all cars/trucks/semis would be running straight pipes right from the factory.

Face it, the "Loud Pipes Save Lives" crap is simply an excuse to uncork your exhaust because you think it sounds "cool". I, and many other bikers, think it makes you sound like a douche.


By jRaskell on 6/22/2010 9:37:29 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Oncoming traffic and motorists at side streets don't hear you until AFTER you've gone past them because your exhaust noise is directed behind you.


Now THAT is pure and utter B.S.! I can hear a bloody straight pipe Harley coming from several blocks away, nevermind hear him 100 feet from the intersection we're both approaching.


RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By LRonaldHubbs on 6/21/10, Rating: -1
RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By thurston on 6/22/2010 8:57:26 PM , Rating: 1
No South Park fans here?


By VooDooAddict on 6/23/2010 10:09:37 PM , Rating: 2
I guess not. That or people are in to serious a mood.


By jjmcubed on 6/21/2010 7:03:34 PM , Rating: 2
To bad they can't comprehend the Doppler effect...


By FaceMaster on 6/22/2010 5:31:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Coming soon: Mufflers banned to assist the hard of hearing.


Mufflers banned to increase the number who are hard of hearing...


By HotFoot on 6/21/2010 4:07:59 PM , Rating: 2
Fair enough regarding a call for more responsible drivers, but as a non-impaired person my first line of defense is looking out for myself. I don't just dash out onto the street as soon as I see the signal turn to "walk", and I've seen a lot of cars run red lights.

That said, I'm not for extra noise in the city. I'd rather see some form of solution that goes along with the blind person to assist them (technological or otherwise), versus adding more to the sea of noise we already live in.


RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By spread on 6/21/2010 4:29:53 PM , Rating: 3
Today's cars give you a false sense of security so people slack off, and it doesn't help that auto manufacturers are helping make people even MORE disconnected from their vehicles with all sorts of gizmos that help drive FOR you in some cases.

There's cars that parallel park and brake for you now!

We need to get back to the basics and have people be in control of their own damn cars.


By afkrotch on 6/21/2010 7:51:33 PM , Rating: 2
Remember the time, when the automatic braking Volvo, forgot to brake and slammed into the back of a vehicle. Good times, good times.


By VahnTitrio on 6/21/2010 4:50:15 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention that most cars are pretty quiet anyway. The only time I think my engine emits more noise than the tires on pavement is when I accelerate. So unless the pavement up here is a lot noisier than the rest of the world, I don't see how an EV without an alert system is any different than a smooth running gasoline sedan.


RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By lelias2k on 6/21/2010 5:01:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't think that 0.3% of the population should be overly concerned about this.


While I agree with your post in general, you only say that because you're not part of the 0.3%...


RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By Kurz on 6/21/2010 5:14:04 PM , Rating: 2
That .3% has better hearing than you or I.


By lelias2k on 6/21/2010 5:19:59 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe, but would you give up your vision for better hearing? Do you consider that a 1-to-1 exchange?

And I'm pretty sure being able to hear cars from farther away is an added benefit for a blind person. They can sure use it.


RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By Anoxanmore on 6/21/2010 5:25:10 PM , Rating: 2
No they don't. Their hearing is the same as any non-blind person. They may pay attention to it more, but it is not super-human, nor super-natural in any way.


By YashBudini on 6/21/2010 5:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
And they will get age related hearing loss like anybody else.


By Gnoad on 6/21/2010 6:04:05 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps he was dictating.


RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/21/2010 5:55:31 PM , Rating: 5
You forget though, this is the new activists American. Where the needs of the few, outweigh the needs of the many. Minority rule!!


By YashBudini on 6/21/2010 5:56:39 PM , Rating: 2
Pffft, this has been Harley logic for decades.


RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By Mr Perfect on 6/21/2010 7:53:38 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Where the needs of the few, outweigh the needs of the many.


Make the Leaf sound like the Enterprise and all the tech geeks will be cool with this. Unless of course some want it to sound like a Klingon vessel.

Or a TIE fighter.

Or a Cylon raider.

Or that jeep from Halo.


RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By JediJeb on 6/22/2010 12:02:31 PM , Rating: 2
TIE sounds would be cool. Can we also get the blaster firing effect to use when people try to cross the street in front of us, that would be an even better warning to the blind if they don't heed the crossing signals.


By geddarkstorm on 6/22/2010 2:35:33 PM , Rating: 2
That should be the horn sound. Although, I've always been personally fond of the rebel snow speeders.


RE: I'm not trying to be insensitive...
By marvdmartian on 6/22/2010 10:48:28 AM , Rating: 2
I just don't see what their problem is.....really!!


By geddarkstorm on 6/22/2010 2:37:00 PM , Rating: 2
Some people are just blind to others needs.


By mindless1 on 6/22/2010 1:12:48 PM , Rating: 2
Well I'll be insensitive then. THEY are the ones who are disabled, THEY should be fitted with a sonar warning device so that they are protected from not just certain quiet cars but anything coming their way.


By 91TTZ on 6/21/2010 2:46:09 PM , Rating: 4
As another poster pointed out, only 0.3% of the population is blind. Does the other 99.7% of the population need to put up with an annoyance just to accommodate a tiny minority? And that's assuming that 100% of blind people want these noisemaking devices. I'm sure some would find it annoying since they'd like to be able to hear the environment around them without everything being drowned out by all of these electric cars. There will only be more and more in the future.




By afkrotch on 6/21/2010 7:55:19 PM , Rating: 2
How about this perspective.

annoyance vs not me


By lelias2k on 6/21/2010 5:15:21 PM , Rating: 2
Again, you only say that because you're not part of the 0.3%.

And people seem to think that they're adding a Harley sound to the Leaf. As far as I've been reading so far, it is a low noise that after a certain speed turns off by itself, since tire noise becomes louder.

Maybe better solutions will appear, especially once this kind of vehicle becomes more common, but for now (and for the amount of Leafs that will be on the streets), it should suffice.


By YashBudini on 6/21/2010 5:50:21 PM , Rating: 1
"Maybe better solutions will appear,"

You hit a blind person you end up on page 1 of the newspaper with a photo. The backlash would be an excellent motivator.


By GodisanAtheist on 6/21/2010 10:48:10 PM , Rating: 4
I don't understand why providing that .3% of the population with some sort of small RFID device that would inform them and only them that a silent ev is near would be so hard. Form a standard protocol, have silent vehicles fitted with it, and allow devices to inform their users to be cautious.

This way, not only are the blind protected but those listening to their mp3 players and the like protected. All the while the rest of us aren't subjected to all the various whines, pops and sqeals of supposedly silent vehicles.


By magneticfield on 6/22/2010 9:37:15 AM , Rating: 2
0.3% are visually impaired, and a large percent of the rest are morons who would cross a street without checking it (if there's no noise of an approaching vehicle).
This law would help not only the blind, but also it would prevent the Darwin Award from being properly awarded.


By JediJeb on 6/22/2010 12:14:17 PM , Rating: 2
Really though, this sound may not work at all. What if the guy with the loud pipes on the bike is a car or two in front of the Leaf. As the bike passes the blind person is still not going to be able to hear the Leaf because of the overwhelming sound of the bike or any other overly loud vehicle that may be near by. If that is going to happen what then, make the Leaf louder?

What we really need today is better drivers, not noisier cars. Unless all vehicles make the same sound level it is still going to be difficult to judge how near or far a vehicle is away for a blind person. Implement a $5000 fine for a driver hitting a pedistrian and a $5000 fine for jaywalking, would make both the drivers and walkers more responsible maybe.


Bottom line
By morphologia on 6/21/2010 2:51:16 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with others in that the only solution to the problem is for motorists to stop being such @$$-clowns. The fact that someone can hop into a 1.5 ton maneuverable projectile and travel upwards of 60 MPH all while paying little or no attention to what they are doing is

JUST

PLAIN

SICK.

All you people who text whilst driving...FYI, every time I see one of you it takes a supreme effort to resist ramming you off the road. Blind pedestrians are only one of your many potential victims, and none of them would have anywhere near as much to worry about if only motorists were the least bit competent and considerate.




RE: Bottom line
By keegssj on 6/21/2010 4:05:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
All you people who text whilst driving...FYI, every time I see one of you it takes a supreme effort to resist ramming you off the road.

I passed someone texting on the highway the other day. Cell Phone propped up on the top of his steering wheel. He had no idea that I was next to him. I thought about honking at him, but thought better of it because he probably would have swerved into me.


RE: Bottom line
By WW102 on 6/21/2010 8:12:15 PM , Rating: 2
So he was watching his phone and you were watching him?


RE: Bottom line
By HostileEffect on 6/21/2010 11:24:46 PM , Rating: 2
There is a gesture that involves the hand and face but I seem to have forgot what it is...


RE: Bottom line
By WW102 on 6/29/2010 11:30:44 AM , Rating: 2
My point is, doesnt really matter if your looking at your phone or looking at the person looking at their phone. Waiting for someone to come in and say I was looking at the guy who was looking at the guy looking at his phone.


RE: Bottom line
By afkrotch on 6/21/2010 8:00:48 PM , Rating: 2
The reverse is also true. Stupid pedestrians trying to read a book, text, play games, adjust their mp3 players, etc while not paying attention to where they are going. Like, into a busy motorway where 1.5 ton maneuverable projectiles travel upwards of 60 mph.


Come on, really?
By MrTeal on 6/21/2010 2:41:17 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Another complaint they have is that no warning sounds are emitted when the vehicle is idling.


No sound while idling is a benefit, there's no need for it. Yes, blind pedestrians could be started when the car is shifted into drive and the noise starts, but how is that different than someone starting a car and driving off 3 seconds later.




RE: Come on, really?
By Tyhr on 6/21/2010 4:35:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No sound while idling is a benefit, there's no need for it. Yes, blind pedestrians could be started when the car is shifted into drive and the noise starts, but how is that different than someone starting a car and driving off 3 seconds later.

Exactly.

You should be able to turn off/on the extra noise as a choice. For example, when making a movie, you'd want the vehicle as silent as possible in that controlled situation, or when just trying to isolate mechanical problems.
Otherwise, why are they not complaining about all the electric busses or bicycles currently in use right now that are near silent?

This is about as well thought out as IBM wanting to turn off engines remotely when at a red light. <sarcasm>GREAT IDEA</sarcasm> So when there is a power/electric failure, your vehicle will be stuck at the red light for hours. Or if an ambulance is honking at you to get out of the way - you can't because IBM locked your car in the off position. I wouldn't want to be a potentially life threatening situation be entirely dependent on a traffic light or even an ambulance who has a traffic light disabler. Computers have been known to have "glitches" once or twice - not an uncommon occurance.

Although that is a great tool for carjackers - you aren't going to be able to get away. Sucks if you're in a convertable.


RE: Come on, really?
By lelias2k on 6/21/2010 5:08:31 PM , Rating: 2
Ever heard of fail/safe mechanisms?

And ambulances, firetrucks, buses, etc, have been equipped with sensors to switch lights for a more than 10 years in certain places. I'm sure that is very easy for that system to recognize when they are around and overrule the turn off signal.

quote:
Computers have been known to have "glitches" once or twice - not an uncommon occurance.


Cars have been using computers for decades (hello electronic fuel injection!). Problems do happen, but I think the risk is low compared to the benefits of potentially saving 5-10% of gas.


RE: Come on, really?
By lelias2k on 6/21/2010 5:08:33 PM , Rating: 2
Ever heard of fail/safe mechanisms?

And ambulances, firetrucks, buses, etc, have been equipped with sensors to switch lights for a more than 10 years in certain places. I'm sure that is very easy for that system to recognize when they are around and overrule the turn off signal.

quote:
Computers have been known to have "glitches" once or twice - not an uncommon occurance.


Cars have been using computers for decades (hello electronic fuel injection!). Problems do happen, but I think the risk is low compared to the benefits of potentially saving 5-10% of gas.


At least they will hear it coming...
By lightfoot on 6/21/2010 3:17:43 PM , Rating: 1
At least now the blind people will hear what killed them when the driver of this Nissan isn't paying attention. Honestly what do they expect the blind pedestrian to do if they hear this coming? Dive and roll out of the way??!

This doesn't change the fact that it is the driver's responsibility to not run into pedestrians. Plenty of peds get hit by moving vehicles every day - just because you can hear it coming doesn't mean that the pedestrian can do anything about it.

Maybe they should make cars slower too so that old men can get out of their way, and how about if we make them sparkly so that deaf people (and teenage girls) can see them coming. And maybe they shouldn't be allowed to drive in areas where children play, or stupid people live.

Or better yet, make sure that we only issue driver's licenses to people who can pass the driving test.




RE: At least they will hear it coming...
By MozeeToby on 6/21/2010 4:03:15 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Honestly what do they expect the blind pedestrian to do if they hear this coming? Dive and roll out of the way??!
How about not stepping out to cross the street. Try it sometime on a not too busy street that you're familiar with; close your eyes and see if you can hear a car coming and from how far away. I'll bet you can hear it well enough that you could cross safely based on what you do and don't hear. There are a lot of very valid complaints about this system, but it being worthless to blind people isn't one of them.


By BZDTemp on 6/21/2010 4:38:52 PM , Rating: 2
You're spot on.

One might also say the heading for this article is somewhat inflammatory. Reading the actual statements made the #1 criticism is that the sound can be turned off not that the sound is wrong or even somehow insulting.


By afkrotch on 6/21/2010 9:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
How about doing the same thing, but this time, every single car is silent. Instead, you're wearing a flashing light and a noise generator.

Bet you it's just as safe as making a silent car noisy. The responsibility to protect one's self is up to well...one's self.


By JediJeb on 6/22/2010 5:10:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How about not stepping out to cross the street. Try it sometime on a not too busy street that you're familiar with; close your eyes and see if you can hear a car coming and from how far away. I'll bet you can hear it well enough that you could cross safely based on what you do and don't hear. There are a lot of very valid complaints about this system, but it being worthless to blind people isn't one of them.


What if a very loud car or bike is sitting near or just past the crosswalk and is making enough noise that you still can't hear the sound these cars make? Do we make them louder to overcome the ambient noise levels? If so then the ambient noise levels increase and you enter a Catch22 situation. It is a good idea overall but the best idea is to make better drivers and better pedestrians, that will make the streets safer for all.


huh
By omnicronx on 6/21/2010 2:45:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Another complaint they have is that no warning sounds are emitted when the vehicle is idling.
What a thing to complain about.. Why on earth does this even matter? To a blind person, whats the difference between any parked car (let alone an EV) and an idled silent car?

Never understood this issue.. I'm sorry but you can't curtail an entire industry to deal with a few select people. Furthermore, doesn't anyone think of the implications of millions of cars outputting a high frequency noise all at the same time?

Seriously.. one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard.. Money would be better spend having a device for the blind person, not the other way around.




RE: huh
By lelias2k on 6/21/2010 5:29:50 PM , Rating: 2
Millions of cars? Are you serious?

This is an idea that will be tested in a car that might sell a few tens of thousands. A drop in the bucket.

With the experience acquired with these vehicles it will be much easier to develop something better.

quote:
To a blind person, whats the difference between any parked car (let alone an EV) and an idled silent car?


A parked car is probably not going to move soon, one idling might. Being aware of its presence allow them to be prepared for that possibility.


RE: huh
By afkrotch on 6/21/2010 7:58:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A parked car is probably not going to move soon, one idling might. Being aware of its presence allow them to be prepared for that possibility.


Let's just put a big glowing light and noise generator on the blind. Then the driver can be aware of their presence.


I'm all for it
By rocky12345 on 6/21/2010 2:39:42 PM , Rating: 2
I am all for it if I bought one of these cars I would like to have the right to turn the noise off. If it is a whistling noise that is even worse. I am all for having everyone being able to be safe but if it comes at the expense of my sanity because of a simulated whistle or buzzing noise while I am driving then yes for sure give me a off switch please.

There has to be a way to do this & make everyone happy.

That is all




RE: I'm all for it
By lelias2k on 6/21/2010 5:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but if it comes at the expense of my sanity


Did you read the part that says that people inside the vehicle won't hear the noise?


RE: I'm all for it
By rcc on 6/21/2010 5:39:20 PM , Rating: 1
that well and good, but how about those days when you want the window down, and the guy next to you is buzzing and humming away.

then again, I suppose it's not much different than having to listen to his stereo.

I predict increased road rage anyway. : )


A better Idea
By grandpope on 6/21/2010 3:01:38 PM , Rating: 1
I think Nissan should just fill the newly vacated space under the hood with a powerful subwoofer system, so the blind people can feel the car coming.

As a bonus, the system will also alert pedestrians even when not moving!




RE: A better Idea
By YashBudini on 6/21/2010 5:45:45 PM , Rating: 2
No please, we already have enough vomit comets on the road. Who needs more self absorbed children making more noise?

Though I would insist that if any such vehicle did make me hurl I would be justified in targeting said vehicle.


RE: A better Idea
By afkrotch on 6/21/2010 9:13:04 PM , Rating: 2
Nah, laser targeting system and a paint ball gun. Just shoot the pedestrians as you near them, so they know you're coming.


Help me out here...
By ChemMan on 6/21/2010 4:11:06 PM , Rating: 2
So is this warning system for blind pedestrians or blind drivers? Seriously, I thought it was the job of the driver to watch where the hell he/she is driving.




RE: Help me out here...
By YashBudini on 6/21/2010 5:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
"I thought it was the job of the driver to watch where the hell he/she is driving. "

If a driver is texting he's saying he's not that concerned about his own life. That person is not going to address someone else's safety when they don't even address their own.

How about cars that jam cell phones inside the car while backing up?


Easy fix...
By HalJordan on 6/21/2010 2:53:43 PM , Rating: 3
Just install a gas powered engine on top of all electric / hybrid vehicles with a sensor attached to the accelerator. When the driver accelerates the engine revs up which will mimic the sound of a normal gas powered car. Then just mandate that the engine must be running at all times; the engine will run when the car is in park, or idle. There, problem solved.




Knowing human nature
By YashBudini on 6/21/2010 5:43:00 PM , Rating: 1
Will this give the careless driver yet another excuse to be careless?

I say take a 30 day suspension for hitting any handicapped person. Your lateness doesn't justify any injury to others. Though you can bet some will think, yet again, "I don't give a shit."




RE: Knowing human nature
By Camikazi on 6/22/2010 10:55:14 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure you hit ANYONE and it will be more then just a 30 day suspension :P


I'm not a Nissan fan but....
By Smartless on 6/21/2010 2:45:41 PM , Rating: 2
I think some people will never be happy. I think this is a good system and the option to turn it off is fairly well thought out. Instead of complaining about that, they should complain that US money is all the same size and hope more people buy a pro-active car like this one.




Do not disturb...
By CZroe on 6/21/2010 4:30:49 PM , Rating: 2
An off switch that reverts back to "on" each time the vehicle starts is useful just like turning off your lights when you pull into the driveway or residential parking lot late at night so that you do not disturb people. It's up to the drive to use it wisely. If it truly can't be heard in the car, they would need a good reason to turn it off and that is just such a reason. As you can tell, it's of little relevance to their concerns because that reasoning would not have drivers opting out and driving all over the roads with the sound turned off.

Turning off while idling only makes sense. There is no noise requirement for "idling" hibrids with their ICEs turned off at stops and not doing so will cause people to leave thier windows rolled up, wasting gas with air conditioning.

Thinking about this for two seconds reveals justifications for BOTH concerns.




Strange
By forsayken on 6/21/2010 5:04:19 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone else agree that if you're blind and you're on the road and you hear the sound of a vehicle, it's too late? In a busy city, if you're close enough to a car to hear it, you're either on the sidewalk walking too close to hear the car until it's beside you, or about to get hit because you're jaywalking.

Someone also said that the drivers should be responsible and on the watch for people. That is also true.




Next Up
By AssBall on 6/21/2010 5:43:57 PM , Rating: 2
A car that smells like rotting meat so that Hellen Keller doesn't get ran over either. Christ...




Silent Cars New?
By FredEx on 6/21/2010 8:04:00 PM , Rating: 2
I have had three cars that people could not hear running. I had a 70 Chevy Belair and a 70 Cadillac at different times that were exceptionally smooth and silent. I had put a Mallory after market electronic distributor in each and also had a Multi Spark Discharge module in them. They ran smooth as silk.

I never ran over any blind people.




Noises???
By croc on 6/22/2010 3:05:39 AM , Rating: 2
Here in Aus we have these wonderful things called 'crosswalks'. We also have these wonderful things called 'traffic lights', and in most any populated area, said 'traffic lights' have things that we call 'pedestrian walk signals', with an accompanying sound that I call a 'clacker'. We also have something called 'traffic laws', and one of those laws is that it is not good for a driver to run over a pedestrian... several years jail for a pedestrian death, and usually a permanent loss of driving priveleges. Taken all together, they work pretty well...




By joegee on 6/22/2010 8:43:15 AM , Rating: 2
YO BLIND PEOPLE HEAR I COME. GET IT, "HEAR"? YOU ASKED FOR ME TO MAKE NOISE SO YOU WOULDN'T STEP IN FRONT OF ME BUT YOU DIDN'T ASK WHAT KIND OF NOISE! HEY, DID YA HEAR THE ONE ABOUT THE PRIEST, THE RABBI, AND THE BLIND GUY? I GOT A MILLION of em ...

For deaf people I have a front license plate that reads "if you can read this", and for stupid people, underneath that in very small print it reads "you are too close."




By classicspam on 6/22/2010 9:28:00 AM , Rating: 2
I mean what is next we all have to where bells for blind people...what about leaded weights so that the ungraceful people do not feel so bad...can't forget the blaring noises that go off in our ears every minute to break our concentration just so the mentally challenged do not feel bad...




My Fix For This
By Azure Sky on 6/22/2010 11:37:52 AM , Rating: 2
F-it, they wana hear the car coming, i say you make ALL CARS so they have to make at least 300-500db noise across the spectrum AND also require part of that be at the very low end of the spectrum so u can FEEL IT.

then when they complain about noise, tell them "sorry but its for your own protection and safty"

I have to agree, its the drivers responsibility to not run people over, but seeing we allow people to keep driving after being caught drinking and driving(but we throw people caught with weed crumbs in a scape baggie in jail for 6-9 months and take there license away to boot) I just dont see our country doing anything to make it the drivers responsibility.

so i say we need all cars to be ear splitting loud, rattle the windows loud, that way nobody can avoid hearing them!!!




By jimbojimbo on 6/23/2010 4:17:32 PM , Rating: 2
If it's a nice day and I'm driving around with my windows down and I constantly hear this loud high pitch I can guarantee I'm either ripping out a fuse or getting out the wire cutters.

How about blind people wear emitters so if a car picks it up it makes a noise so the car doesn't have to constantly make noise?? I'd wager it would only go off very very very rarely and only in metropolitan areas.




Standards
By JonnyDough on 6/21/2010 9:22:02 PM , Rating: 1
The blind advocates are taking this up with the wrong people. There needs to be a federal standard within the auto industry, one sound for all vehicles of a certain size, and have the sound grow louder the faster the vehicle travels. Also, there needs to be at the very least dual pitch sounds, both a high and low frequency as some people are unable to detect high and low pitched sounds. That's all for my thoughts on this. You can't expect the auto industry to care about every minority. It would be nice if it was that socially responsible but you simply can't make everyone happy. History shows us that there has to be laws to protect the weak and the disabled - this issue requires government oversight. History also tells us that we can expect a law to be set in place about 20 years from now in response to deaths of blind pedestrians over that time.




after 10-20 years of noisemakers
By rika13 on 6/22/2010 3:48:10 AM , Rating: 1
everyone will hate the blind since every neighborhood will be a litany of noise

the blind will be begging for this to stop since they cant hear a specific vehicle over the racket

they get that, then they bitch because of the "silent murder machines"

the solution is simple, just tell them STFU and stay on the sidewalk and get the cities to actually perform snow and ice removal of sidewalks




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