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View Poll Results: Should electric and hybrid vehicles produce an artificial noise as mandated by the NHTSA?
Yes 66 43.14%
No 81 52.94%
Don't know/can't say 6 3.92%
Voters: 153. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 23rd November 2016, 21:00   #1
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Default *EVs, Make Some Noise!* | NHTSA sets 'Quiet Car' safety standards from 2019

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandates that from 1 September 2019, all newly manufactured electric and hybrid light duty vehicles must make some sound, to improve pedestrian safety.

Source: https://www.nhtsa.gov/About-NHTSA/Pr..._rule_11142016

Quote:
New requirement of audible alert will help prevent 2,400 pedestrian injuries a year

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced that it is adding a sound requirement for all newly manufactured hybrid and electric light-duty vehicles to help protect pedestrians. The new federal safety standard will help pedestrians who are blind, have low vision, and other pedestrians detect the presence, direction and location of these vehicles when they are traveling at low speeds, which will help prevent about 2,400 pedestrian injuries each year once all hybrids in the fleet are properly equipped.

"We all depend on our senses to alert us to possible danger," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "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."

Under the new rule, all hybrid and electric light vehicles with four wheels and a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less will be required to make audible noise when traveling in reverse or forward at speeds up to 30 kilometers per hour (about 19 miles per hour). At higher speeds, the sound alert is not required because other factors, such as tire and wind noise, provide adequate audible warning to pedestrians.

"This is a common-sense tool to help pedestrians — especially folks who are blind or have low vision — make their way safely," said NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind. "With pedestrian fatalities on the rise, it is vitally important we take every action to protect the most vulnerable road users."

Manufacturers have until Sept. 1, 2019, to equip all new hybrid and electric vehicles with sounds that meet the new federal safety standard. Half of new hybrid and electric vehicles must be in compliance one year before the final deadline.

"We commend NHTSA on bringing this process to completion," said Eric Bridges, executive director of the American council of the Blind. "This new safety standard moving forward will not just make our streets safer for blind and visually impaired Americans, but also serve as an additional safety cue for all pedestrians who share the streets with hybrid or electric vehicles."

The new standard, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 141, responds to Congress' mandate in the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act that hybrid and electric vehicles meet minimum sound requirements to provide an audible alert for blind and visually-impaired pedestrians.

"Having raised concerns on behalf of blind Americans about the dangers posed by silent hybrid and electric vehicles, the National Federation of the Blind is extremely pleased that technical specifications for a safe level of sound to be emitted by such vehicles have now been issued," said Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. "The full implementation of the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010 will protect all pedestrians, especially the blind, as well as cyclists. This regulation will ensure that blind Americans can continue to travel safely and independently as we work, learn, shop, and engage in all facets of community life."
The full rule: QuietCar_FinalRule_11142016.pdf

EVs and hybrids manufactured after that date (1/9/19) must compulsorily produce a noise when travelling below 30 kmph (18.6 mph). Car makers have almost 3 years to implement this rule, though many automakers may move quicker than the law requires. Nissan's Leaf and Kia's Soul EV have had noisemakers for years now.

What do you think? Should EVs and hybrids remain silent, or should they make a noise? Given the number of battery-powered 3 wheelers on our roads today, I am certain many of us have had close encounters with such vehicles sneaking up behind us and alarming us suddenly.

OTOH, by the same logic, a Rolls Royce or Bentley under 30 kmph may also be required to make some kind of purring noise, so silent are these cars when travelling below 30 kmph. And what about bicycles? Do cyclists need to stick a plastic strip against the spokes (like many of us did in our childhood) to generate noise and save blind pedestrians from being run over? Or do pedestrians also have a responsibility to look where they are walking?

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 23rd November 2016 at 21:03.
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Old 23rd November 2016, 22:08   #2
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Default re: *EVs, Make Some Noise!* | NHTSA sets 'Quiet Car' safety standards from 2019

Voted No. Not much personal experience, but as far as I know, the US is a pedestrian friendly country and the onus is on the vehicle driver to give way to pedestrians. Of course, there are probably a lot of exceptions (as the data from the article indicates), but I assume a lot of them would have been due to the mistake of the vehicle driver. So the benefits appear to be negligible.

I kind of recall a Prius that I drove in the US having a small consistent beep sound at low speeds. Maybe wrong though.

In India- Maybe makes more sense. But I would still vote no. We are already a very noisy country and I think we can manage without artificial noise being added.
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Old 23rd November 2016, 23:01   #3
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Default re: *EVs, Make Some Noise!* | NHTSA sets 'Quiet Car' safety standards from 2019

When I saw the name of this thread, I thought this was because of the "need" for sound just so people get the "feel" of driving a vehicle.

Context being how some manufacturers realize that their hybrid/EVs haven't been popular because people couldn't identify the lack of sound with the supercar.

Coming to the topic, I think this makes sense. Not just differently abled but a lot of people, be it pedestrians or other vehicles on road, are aware of the existence of a vehicle due to the engine noise.

I remember how there were some accidents involving Volvo buses just because other vehicles did not anticipate the bus as there wasn't any sound from the front.
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Old 24th November 2016, 09:45   #4
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Default Re: *EVs, Make Some Noise!* | NHTSA sets 'Quiet Car' safety standards from 2019

I have had several instances where pedestrians who walk on streets are not aware of vehicles (especially silent petrol ones) behind them on busy streets. I hate to use horns and always thought that it would have been better if engine made more sound so that it can alert pedestrians. I support this directive.
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Old 24th November 2016, 10:10   #5
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Default Re: *EVs, Make Some Noise!* | NHTSA sets 'Quiet Car' safety standards from 2019

Yes, they should have a voice.
EVs don't need to sound like V8s but they can still be loud.

If you've heard the Harley's LiveWire EV concept, you'll know what I mean. EVs can be loud in their own way and the LiveWire is loud just like all Harleys. It's just loud in a unique futuristic way.


Last edited by MaheshY1 : 24th November 2016 at 10:13.
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Old 24th November 2016, 10:20   #6
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Default Re: *EVs, Make Some Noise!* | NHTSA sets 'Quiet Car' safety standards from 2019

Voted a NO. There are going to be more of EVs & vehicles as a whole in future. By not making noise this would remove a big source of noise pollution & make the cities quieter.

Last edited by GTO : 25th November 2016 at 10:54. Reason: Typo
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Old 24th November 2016, 10:46   #7
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Default Re: *EVs, Make Some Noise!* | NHTSA sets 'Quiet Car' safety standards from 2019

Voted Yes.

For me sound is an integral part of a vehicle. The way a vehicle sounds gives away its character. Though the reason for adding sound in this context is for pedestrian safety, but I guess it will be a win-win situation for both, the driver and the pedestrian. Driver will be more in sync with the vehicle and pedestrian will be alerted.

P.S: Wouldn't it be nice that we can alter the sound as per our mood. Just like we change songs in ICE...
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Old 24th November 2016, 11:06   #8
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Default Re: *EVs, Make Some Noise!* | NHTSA sets 'Quiet Car' safety standards from 2019

Voted an YES. May not be a necessity in the US, but absolutely a must in India where pedestrian safety is mostly ignored. Was taken by surprise by sudden appearance from nowhere of Volvo city buses at least couple of times. Also this would avoid the necessity to honk in most cases.

However the sound need not be car/automobile like. It can be a soothing musical note. May be the same as your mobile ringtone.
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Old 24th November 2016, 11:15   #9
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Default Re: *EVs, Make Some Noise!* | NHTSA sets 'Quiet Car' safety standards from 2019

Voted NO.
Tyre Noise and Horns will be enough IMO. This artificial sound generation will reduce EV range as batteries will be used to generate sound.
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Old 24th November 2016, 11:24   #10
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Default Re: *EVs, Make Some Noise!* | NHTSA sets 'Quiet Car' safety standards from 2019

Voted NO. I have driven the e2o and reva and found even the tire noise is not desirable and therefore, why one needs a simulation of a fossil fuel engine with its noise? If anyone needs it, he can plug a headphone and connect to the "noise generator" and listen .

Last edited by GTO : 25th November 2016 at 10:55. Reason: Typos
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Old 24th November 2016, 11:50   #11
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Default Re: *EVs, Make Some Noise!* | NHTSA sets 'Quiet Car' safety standards from 2019

Have voted a NO. The world is already a noisy place and additional sources of noise is not desirable. A car and a pedestrian are to move in two different segments on road. In case where a pedestrian is supposed to cross the road, he/she in any case needs to look at both sides of the road before crossing. This is even more applicable for a crowded country like India. And, following road etiquette cannot be substituted with noise generating vehicles.
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Old 24th November 2016, 11:59   #12
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Default Re: *EVs, Make Some Noise!* | NHTSA sets 'Quiet Car' safety standards from 2019

Voted No.

Why not introduce a simple device which can sense a hindrance around the car at slow speeds and make the default horn sound once or twice?
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Old 24th November 2016, 12:13   #13
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Default Re: *EVs, Make Some Noise!* | NHTSA sets 'Quiet Car' safety standards from 2019

Yes, for safety reasons. A vehicle should be audible too, so that people around it know there is a vehicle approaching or is near by. Just yesterday I saw a biker being overtaken by a city bus - Volvo, I am 100% sure the biker did not know the bus was about to overtake him, based on this reaction when he saw the bus right beside his handle bar, that's when he panicked and gave way/maintained a gap.
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Old 24th November 2016, 13:27   #14
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Default Re: *EVs, Make Some Noise!* | NHTSA sets 'Quiet Car' safety standards from 2019

Voted Yes.
Primarily for safety reason. Not only for humans, but also for small urban wildlife and pets will also be alerted
to an Evs approach. And also considering risk to blind, small children, elderly people etc.

Technically it is known as "Sound generators" at low speed or at driver's request, it prodcuces a noise similar to an
IC engine.

Making use of proximity sensors, and generating a sound only when hindrances are detected, will not be a reliable system, since in a city where vehicles and several other objects are always within the near-field of the sensor.
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Old 24th November 2016, 13:46   #15
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Default Re: *EVs, Make Some Noise!* | NHTSA sets 'Quiet Car' safety standards from 2019

Quote:
Originally Posted by redbaron91 View Post
Making use of proximity sensors, and generating a sound only when hindrances are detected, will not be a reliable system, since in a city where vehicles and several other objects are always within the near-field of the sensor.
Advanced sensors may be tweaked to identify the hindrance to trigger the horn.
IMO, there is no need of adding any artificial noise in our already noisy cities. Moreover, most modern engines are almost noiseless for a purpose.
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