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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Senate unanimously rules in favor of noisy hybrids, electric cars

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Senate unanimously rules in favor of noisy hybrids, electric cars

by Autoblog Staff (RSS feed) on Dec 13th 2010 at 3:33PM

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Regardless of whether or not there's an actual need for pedestrian warning systems for hybrid and electric vehicles, the U.S. Senate has voted unanimously to approve a measure that would make the noise-adding setup standard on all vehicles that can operate – even if just momentarily – without the burble of an engine.

The measure, called the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010 and backed by Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, aims to establish standards for alerting pedestrians of the possible danger of an approaching vehicle that moves in near silence. With the Senate voting in favor of the bill, it will now head off to the House of Representatives, where it's expected to pass with ease.

link:

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/12/13/senate-unanimously-rules-in-favor-noisy-hybrids-electric-cars/

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Oh boy.

:facepalm:

Ehhhh...I'm not sure if this is the perfect answer, but something needs to be done because those Priuses are QUIET! Even pets can't detect when they're on/approaching.

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Senate Sounds Off On Battery Car Safety

Lawmakers approve Pedestrian Safety Act.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Dec.14, 2010

The Senate wants motorists to sound off. Or, to be more precise, it wants those driving a battery-electric vehicle or a hybrid operating in electric mode to provide a little warning to avoid taking pedestrians by surprise.

The good news for motorists, it seems, is the bad news for casual strollers. Anyone who has driven one of the new battery cars can’t help but notice that they operate in near silence. Gone is the racket and roar of the internal combustion engine. All that’s left is the sound of crunching gravel under the tires, the rush of the win, and the occasional whir and pop of onboard accessories.

When you’re walking across the street, however, that’s a problem, all the more so for the sight-impaired who count on hearing oncoming traffic. So, the new Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act will require that future battery-based vehicles make a minimum amount of noise when driving through town to give those on foot a heads-up.

How much noise? Well, that’s yet to be determined, and federal regulators have already turned to the industry for some help and advice determining how to meet the mandate – which has now been approved by the Senate but must yet get the nod from the folks at the other end of Capitol Hill.

But the basic language of the bill suggests that the standard will be a “minimum level of sound emitted from a motor vehicle that is necessary to provide blind and other pedestrians with the information needed to reasonably detect a nearby electric or hybrid vehicle operating at or below the cross-over speed.”

The Act, as it stands on the Senate side, would give manufacturers 48 months to meet whatever the mandate determines.

Several makers are already taking the issue seriously. The new Nissan Leaf, for example, provides a low-speed warning – as well as a truck-like beep when put into reverse. For now, Leaf owners have to activate the forward warning tone, but under the Pedestrian Safety Act it will become a requirement that automatically operates below a pre-determined speed.

link:

http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2010/12/senate-sounds-off-on-battery-car-safety/

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I just looked up what the bill actually says: "Directs the Secretary of Transportation to study and report to Congress on the minimum level of sound that is necessary to be emitted from a motor vehicle, or some other method, to alert blind and other pedestrians of the presence of operating motor vehicles while traveling." Seems pretty innocuous to me.

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Ehhhh...I'm not sure if this is the perfect answer, but something needs to be done because those Priuses are QUIET! Even pets can't detect when they're on/approaching.

I recognize the reality of the issue, but I'm envisioning the auditory chaos of it all.

What happens in heavy traffic?

A better answer is required.

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Cars are already able to tell the difference between flesh and another car. I don't think traffic situations will be an issue.

Ehhhh...I'm not sure if this is the perfect answer, but something needs to be done because those Priuses are QUIET! Even pets can't detect when they're on/approaching.

I've had the hybrid buses sneak up on me if I have my headphones on. I don't tend to listen to blaring music.

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Cars are already able to tell the difference between flesh and another car. I don't think traffic situations will be an issue.

That's not how the bill reads. The sound is triggered by low speed automatically.

That's a problem.

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That's not how the bill reads. The sound is triggered by low speed automatically.

That's a problem.

establish standards for alerting pedestrians of the possible danger of an approaching vehicle that moves in near silence.

1. The engine has to be not running.

2. And it has to automatically detect a pedestrian.

I don't see conflict between what I wrote and what the bill says.

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The conflict (or more accurately perhaps, the oversight), is that it says nothing about detecting a person. It just says automatically triggered at low speeds.

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I hope this is only required for a moving vehicle, and isn't going to end up on cars with stop-start systems too. *Imagines cars sitting at a stoplight making a stupid noise just because our gov't said so.* I would think/hope this wouldn't be the case, since they're talking about moving cars, but still.

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Lessee... a wheel speed sensor, some sort of weatherproof exterior speaker, some sort of dash acknowledgement, fuse, 'motherboard programing', and all the wiring in between.

The day of the sub-4000 lbs car is short & growing shorter.

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