Feds propose minimum sound standards for hybrid, electric vehicles
Posted by: Timothy Tibbetts on: 01/07/2013 02:20 PM in Automotive [ Print ]
Coming soon to the sticker price of your favorite hybrid or electric vehicle: fake sounds. We know it was coming sooner or later although it just seems so silly.
Now, according to the Detroit Free Press the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) it is proposing minimum sound standards for hybrid and electric vehicles as a way to make pedestrians more aware of them as they approach.
Because those vehicles don't rely on traditional gas or diesel-powered engines at low speeds, they tend to be much quieter, making them hard to hear given the ambient street noise. The proposed standard -- mandated in the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act -- would require that the vehicles are detectable in a wide range of street noises whenever traveling under 18 miles per hour.
At 18 miles per hour and faster, the vehicles apparently make enough noise that pedestrians and bicyclists can hear them without added sound.