As the modern hybrid cars are getting silent, the more are they getting dangerous.
As per the new law issued by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Electric cars and hybrid-fuel cars will be required to produce noise when traveling at low speeds
This is to prevent these vehicles from injuring pedestrians, especially people who are blind or are visually impaired.
Electric cars, which are growing increasingly popular among manufacturers and consumers, make hardly any engine noise. The only noises they usually generate is caused by wind resistance or tire noises, and that is only at moderate to higher speeds.
The new rule requires all newly manufactured electric vehicles 10,000 pounds or less to make an audible noise when traveling forward or in reverse at speeds 19 mph or less. NHTSA says the sound alert is not required at higher speeds because other factors, such as tire and wind noise, “provide adequate audible warning to pedestrians.” It doesn’t explain what kind of alert automakers use, so whether it’s a fake engine noise or a “beeping” noise will be up the manufacturers of electric vehicles.
“We all depend on our senses to alert us to possible danger,” US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. “With more, quieter hybrid and electrical cars on the road, the ability for all pedestrians to hear as well as see the cars becomes an important factor of reducing the risk of possible crashes and improving safety.”
Manufacturers have until September 1st, 2019, to equip their vehicles with the new alert, but half of new hybrid and electric vehicles must be in compliance one year before the final deadline. The mandate is being issued as part of a pedestrian safety law passed by Congress in 2010 and signed into law by President Barack Obama.
Many companies have been working for a while on the problem, not only for safety reasons, but because customers associate engine noise with power. Premium sports car brands such as Porsche, Maserati, and McLaren have tried many different methods, including piping sound effects through the stereo speakers to give the driver the illusion of a big, growling engine.What’s the best noise for a futuristic car? Audi’s sound engineers took three years to answer that question, developing hardware and software that would respond to their cars’ speed and engine loads the way a real engine would.
The law introduced by the US Government is a good decision as at low speeds hybrids can cause damage to blind and the visually impaired for whom sound is the only way to make out the danger nearby.