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Old 21st August 2008, 17:25   #1
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Default Bell the Hybrids: They are too silent!

See this article in LA Times about Hybrid cars being too silent and hence might cause accidents involving pedestrians. They even propose to install external "noise making devices" to warn pedestrians.

Arent they aware of a large button in the middle of the steering, which is exactly meant for this?. Or are they claiming to be too polite to use it?

Quote:
...
As hybrid and electric vehicles become more numerous — more than 350,000 now cruise California roads — concerns are growing that the blissful silence of the vehicles’ electric motors poses a genuine threat to pedestrians, especially the blind....
....
Such incidents have led to proposals for adding external noisemaking devices to hybrids so they would alert the blind and just-plain-inattentive pedestrians to their presence. Companies are working on a range of solutions, such as Lotus’ idea to install a waterproof speaker on the front of the car that would project realistic-sounding engine noise.
.....
Hybrids vs. pedestrians | Up to Speed | Los Angeles Times

Last edited by appuchan : 21st August 2008 at 17:27.
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Old 21st August 2008, 19:06   #2
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Quote:
that the blissful silence of the vehicles’ electric motors poses a genuine threat to pedestrians, especially the blind....
Human nature is such that, it will try to find a negative side to everything. Even the positive!
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Old 21st August 2008, 19:23   #3
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How do I make my Prius sound like a Ferrari ? This will be the next big thing after ringtone revenue!
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Old 21st August 2008, 20:57   #4
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Im not surprised. I saw it coming as an option on any electric/hybird. We already have such a system in place - The click of the shutter in a digicam is a recorded sound - one that I cant do without while using it.

Old habits die hard.
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Old 21st August 2008, 21:21   #5
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Why would people walk on the road to be able to hear a car coming ? The car drivers would certainly know someone is in their way.
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Old 22nd August 2008, 00:08   #6
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If im not mistaken, there are speakers you can attach to your car that repplicate the noice of a blow-off valve(makes your car sound like its turbocharged when its not) . This in my opinion is a very lame idea.
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Old 22nd August 2008, 02:05   #7
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i think they can add something like "please be warned, you are walking in the vicinity of a hybrid. thank you for actuating XXX sound system." sounding 100 times from different cars while outside a shopping complex
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Old 22nd August 2008, 03:13   #8
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Or drive Hybrids in countries only like ours - were the driver would know and expect some(thing)one to get on the way every 2nd second
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Old 22nd August 2008, 10:53   #9
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One idea will be to fix a "green strobe light" with some "green siren" on top of all hybrids, similar to cop cars and ambulance, if they don't want to use horns.
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Old 22nd August 2008, 14:42   #10
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Actually, replace those hybrids with small capacity diesels. Not only will they solve this *noise* problem, but they are more efficient too.
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Old 22nd August 2008, 15:08   #11
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I second this idea. Diesel Hybrids would be the cars of the future. high mileage and low engine noise combined with great torque when needed.
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Old 25th August 2010, 15:58   #12
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Default Now an Audible Pedestrian Safety System For Toyota Prius!

Toyota has announced a new Audible Safety system aimed at preventing pedestrians being run over by gasoline hybrid vehicles like Prius. The Prius acts as a full electric vehicle when running at speeds upto 25 kmph and hence in-audible to the pedestrians, especially to the blind.

The new system emits synthesized sound of electric motor that also rises or fall its pitch relative to the speed not only to alert pedestrians but also help them judge the speed and the distance. The system will trickle down to other Toyota gasoline electric hybrids, electric cars and fuel cell vehicles planned for launch.

The system goes on sale from 30th August for 12,600 yen or $150.

source: Toyota Announces Approaching Vehicle Audible System For Prius | Autoholiks
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Old 26th August 2010, 14:20   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by appuchan View Post
Arent they aware of a large button in the middle of the steering, which is exactly meant for this?. Or are they claiming to be too polite to use it?
They aren't very judicious with the use of horn. In my 4 months stay in London I only heard the horn just once! Buzzing the horn is akin to shouting at the other guy besides you can be doing it all the time while you are at low speeds.
Funny, it may sound but this is the only solution.
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Old 16th February 2011, 09:22   #14
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Default Re: Bell the Hybrids: They are too silent!

And Delphi offers a solution! From press information:

P.S. Haven't they heard of that wonderful innovation called the HORN

Quote:
Delphi warning sound generators help vehicle manufacturers address pending legislative requirements for hybrid and electric vehicles.

Delphi secures EV sounder business with leading vehicle maker for 2012 European introduction.

With two new vehicle sound generators, Delphi Automotive can help global vehicle manufacturers warn pedestrians of approaching hybrid and electric vehicles. Designed to comply with legislation expected to mandate minimal sound for both hybrid and electric vehicles, these environmentally friendly sounders are not only robust, but compact, light weight and low cost. The single-box solutions are lead-free, waterproof and temperature resistant.

Making EVs safer for pedestrians:

- Using expertise gained from decades of vehicle alarm system experience, Delphi has developed two environmentally friendly sound generators – called sounders – that enable pedestrians to detect nearby hybrid and electric vehicles which, without the sound generator, are nearly silent.

- The first, Delphi’s electronic sounder system, is approximately three times lighter than a conventional multi-box system and uses 90 percent less power, making it the most environmentally friendly solution available. Its single-box configuration helps to reduce design, test and manufacturing cost, and its size and weight simplify packaging. The system provides a frequency range of 500Hz to 10 KHz and can reproduce melodies that represent the identity of individual vehicle manufacturers.

- For applications requiring higher quality sound, Delphi has developed a high-fidelity sounder system that uses a cone speaker activated by a light-weight magnet and extends base range to 150Hz. The magnet-based system weighs 66 percent less than a conventional speaker system.

- Both Delphi systems are robust enough to be mounted in the harsh environment under the vehicle’s hood and incorporate a 32-bit microprocessor with flash memory, a link to the vehicle’s data bus and an audio class-D amplifier.

Increasing value through system integration
An expert system integrator, Delphi can increase the value of its sound generators by connecting them with other systems through the vehicle’s data bus. Instead of implementing several alert systems, OEMs can benefit from one flexible system that offers multiple features. For instance, using unique sounds, the system can remind a driver that the battery needs to be charged, confirm that a charging sequence is in progress and notify the driver when the charge is complete.

“Every car has a personality, and we want our customers to be able to choose the system that best represents their brand,” said Schwarting. “With these two systems and the value of integration, we believe we have developed flexible products that will meet our customers’ specific needs.”
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Old 8th May 2011, 00:33   #15
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Default Re: Bell the Hybrids: They are too silent!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
And Delphi offers a solution! From press information:

P.S. Haven't they heard of that wonderful innovation called the HORN
The 'HORN' is considered extremely annoying, unless used in the case of an absolute emergency. The sound of the HORN can sometimes terrify the pedestrians to such an extent that they stand still and can cause more problems for the driver!
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