Hybrid Cars May Include Fake Vroom for Safety

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brian
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Hybrid Cars May Include Fake Vroom for Safety

Post by brian » Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:16 pm

Hybrid Cars May Include Fake Vroom for Safety
NY Times, JIM MOTAVALLI, Oct 13, 2009
For decades, automakers have been on a quest to make cars quieter: an auto that purrs, and glides almost silently in traffic. They have finally succeeded. Plug-in hybrid and electric cars, it turns out, not only reduce air pollution, they cut noise pollution as well with their whisper-quiet motors. But that has created a different problem. They aren’t noisy enough.
So safety experts, worried that hybrids pose a threat if pedestrians, children and others can’t hear them approaching, want automakers to supply some digitally enhanced vroom. Indeed, just as cellphones have ring tones, “car tones” may not be far behind — an option for owners of electric vehicles to choose the sound their cars emit. Full Story
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NOTE from Brian: Hybrid vehicles need to eliminate the 'beep beep, beep' interior sound when the vehicle is backing up. Why isn't it on the outside (like for trucks when they back up?). I own a Prius and one of the most obnoxious things about it is that when you put the vehicle in Reverse, the vehicle emits a loud 'beep beep beep' sound inside the vehicle (aparently to remind the driver that the vehicle is backing up?). The loud sound acts to interfere with the ability of the driver of the vehicle to hear pedestrians, etc outside the vehicle. Remove the interior 'beep beep beep' sound when the vehicle is backing up!
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In related news, the following is from a recent study from NHTSA report Incidence of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crashes by Hybrid Electric Passenger Vehicles
Objective: This study examines the incidence rates of pedestrian and bicyclist crashes that involved hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and to compare the results to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles under similar circumstances.
Results: In conclusion, this study found that HEVs have a higher incidence rate of pedestrian and bicyclist crashes than do ICE vehicles in certain vehicle maneuvers. These results should serve as a guide when designing future HEVs pedestrian and bicyclist crash prevention programs. NHTSA will continue monitoring the incidence of pedestrian and bicyclist crashes involving HEVs. In future, a larger sample size would allow us to perform a more detailed analysis such as limiting the entire analysis to low-speed crashes, analyzing different vehicle maneuvers individually, etc. Data findings on this study will be updated when more recent State Data System and other data sources are available.
For additional information see the 2008 NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts Thread on this forum.
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brian
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:52 am

Re: Hybrid Cars May Include Fake Vroom for Safety

Post by brian » Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:23 pm

Custom backup sounds for your hybrid/electric vehicle! And you thought cell phone ringtones were obnoxious!
Quiet hybrids may get custom engine noises for safety's sake
New York Times,10/15/2009
Working with Hollywood special-effects wizards, some hybrid auto companies have started tinkering in sound studios, rather than machine shops, to customize engine noises. The Fisker Karma, an $87,900 plug-in hybrid expected to go on sale next year, will emit a sound — pumped out of speakers in the bumpers — that the company founder Henrik Fisker describes as "a cross between a starship and a Formula One car."
Nissan is also consulting with the film industry on sounds that could be emitted by its forthcoming Leaf battery-electric vehicle, while Toyota has been working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Federation of the Blind and the Society of Automotive Engineers on sounds for electric vehicles.
"One possibility is choosing your own noise," said Nathalie Bauters, a spokeswoman for BMW's Mini division, who added that such technology could be added to one of BMW's electric vehicles in the future. "Debate is going on about the different options."
The notion that battery EVs and plug-in hybrids might be too quiet has gained backing in Congress, among federal regulators and on the Internet. The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, introduced early this year, would require a federal safety standard to protect pedestrians from ultra-quiet cars.
See the Full Article
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brian
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Re: Hybrid Cars May Include Fake Vroom for Safety

Post by brian » Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:28 pm

June 21, 2010: Ya ain't gonna believe this one...Anti-Noise Activists Oppose Sounds for Electric Cars
The ultraquiet Nissan Leaf battery car will produce a synthesized sound. This is mainly to warn blind people and other pedestrians. It can be turned off (guess if you want to sneak up on someone?). The on-off feature has caused issues with both advocates for the blind (who don't want it to turn off) and anti-noise activists (who don't want it to turn on!).
Ya can please some of the people some of the time...BUT...
For more detailed information on the issue see the article from the NY Times Anti-Noise Activists Oppose Sounds for Electric Cars
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MSI
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Re: Hybrid Cars May Include Fake Vroom for Safety

Post by MSI » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:49 pm

August 26, 2010: Toyota mulls space-ship sound for Prius hybrid to warn walkers
The Toyota Prius hybrid will get an optional pedestrian warning system in Japan and possibly in the U.S. down the line. The onboard device will automatically produce an artificial sound, supposedly an amplified and synthesized reproduction of the noise an electric motor makes. The noise is activated at speeds below 15 mph, and it fluctuates in pitch relative to the vehicle's speed, which is supposed to help pedestrians gauge proximity in relation to the hybrid.
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