Posts Tagged ‘hybrid vehicles’

Hybrid Cars May Include Fake Vroom for Safety

By Jim Motavalli © The New York Times — 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…. READ ARTICLE

Quiet Hybrid Cars Pose Threat to Blind Pedestrians; Electric Cars Too Quiet to Hear, Visually Impaired Pedestrians Say

By Megan Loiselle © Wausau Daily Herald, Wisconsin — Hybrid cars provide benefits for the environment, but their silent approach could be dangerous for blind pedestrians crossing local streets. A hybrid runs quietly at lower speeds when it is powered by electricity, making it difficult for the visually impaired who rely on sound to judge whether it’s safe to cross the street. At higher speeds, such as on a highway, the cars rely on a noisier combustion engine. Blind people and advocate groups are pushing automakers to research the idea of adding sounds, such as a chirping bird or musical notes, to the otherwise quiet cars…. READ ARTICLE

The Deadly Silence of the Electric Car

By Peter Whoriskey © The Washington Post — After years of trying to make cars sound as if they were riding on air, engineers are considering how they might bring back some noise. They’re trying to make some of them — those silent hybrids — more audible. But how? A team of engineers developing the Leaf, the forthcoming electric car from Nissan and a front-runner in the race for a mass-market electric car, have recently been presenting their ideas for artificial noises to government officials and focus groups. Maybe Chime No. 22? Melody No. 39? Perhaps a futuristic whirring like the aircraft in “Blade Runner”? As hybrids proliferate and major automakers such as Nissan and General Motors prepare to launch battery electric vehicles next year, some automakers are seeking to address concerns in the United States and Japan that the nearly noiseless vehicles may be so quiet that they pose a threat to pedestrians…. READ ARTICLE

Hybrid and Electric Cars Will Emit Vroomtones

© HYBRIDCARS.COM — After years of complaints from blind pedestrians that ultra-quiet hybrid cars pose a safety threat, the auto industry is responding by producing on-board devices that emit sound. Nissan is considering using a high- pitched science fiction sound for its upcoming all-electric Nissan Leaf. The Fisker Karma luxury plug-in hybrid might use a sound halfway between a jet engine and an F1 racecar. And Volkswagen’s E-Up! concept car, described as “the Beetle for the 21st century,” might use the very 20th century sound of a common gas engine…. READ MORE

Nissan Adds ‘Beautiful’ Noise to Make Silent Electric Cars Safe

By Makiko Kitamura and Yuki Hagiwara © Bloomberg.com — Toshiyuki Tabata spent 30 years as a Nissan Motor Co. engineer trying to make gasoline-powered cars quieter. Now he’s consulting music composers to make electric cars noisier — and safer. Electric and hybrid cars, with little or no engine noise, are lauded for their silence, yet some groups including advocates for the blind say pedestrians may fail to notice them approaching. To address those safety concerns, transportation agencies in the U.S. and Japan may mandate artificial sounds for the vehicles…. READ MORE

Growing number of hybrid cars causing concern for blind and visually impaired

By: Brett Stagnitti © WHEC-TV, Rochester, New York — Growing number of hybrid cars causing concern for blind and visually impaired Sales of hybrid cars are growing all over the world but with more of these vehicles on the road, there are also growing safety concerns from the blind and visually impaired community. The reason? Hybrids might be too quiet…. READ STORY

Japan looking at whether hybrid cars are dangerously quiet

USA Today –If you’ve ever had a hybrid sneak up on you in a parking lot, you know what they’re talking about: Japan is apparently taking a hard look at whether hybrid vehicles are too quiet and might need a noisemaker to protect pedestrians…. READ STORY