Europe: Electric cars must make noise

According to a media report, all electric and hybrid cars sold in the European Union should get a noise-emitting device called Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS). The rule came into force on July 1, 2019, for all new cars introduced in the market. Existing cars should get the system by July 2021. Cars already on the streets could get retrofits.

The system is designed to kick in when the car is driving at speeds below 20 km/h and when reversing. It has been introduced to warn pedestrians and cyclists to prevent them from being caught unawares. It is also expected to help people who are blind or partially sighted. Manufacturers are free to choose what kind of fake noise the car emits, but it should sound similar to a traditional combustion engine. The sound should also be synchronised with the vehicle speed.

The AVAS will also be fitted with a switch within reach of the driver to allow turning it on and off. However, by default, it will be in the on position when the car is started. For cars equipped with reversing sound warning devices, it is not necessary to activate the AVAS when reversing.

It is said that electric and hybrid cars are 40% more likely to be involved in an accident with other road users as they emit no noise. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the USA has also mandated that electric and hybrid cars should be equipped with similar devices for speeds up to 30 km/h by September 2020.

Source: engadget

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