Minimum noise requirements for cars

From Autopia: Lotus Makes Hybrids Sound Like Real Cars
Apparently some people are worried that quiet cars will not give auditory clues about their presence, and will run over pedestrians (esp. blind pedestrians). So Lotus is developing a technology that will cause the car to make noise even if it is not running on a conventional engine.

2 thoughts on “Minimum noise requirements for cars

  1. Hi David, Great blog, I read it all the time. This is a great post. I guest taught at the California School for the Blind in 2007, and the students mentioned how the adoption of hybrids worries them regarding their safety. Quiet cars coupled with the lack of audio signal coordination and deployment is a major concern for the blind.
    -Megan Smirti, UC Berkeley


  2. Hi David. I’m a long time reader too and greatly enjoy your thoughtful posts. I’d like to add that bicyclists have also expressed a concern with quiet vehicles because we use auditory clues to know if a car is approaching out of sight. Despite this, I am looking forward to quieter cities in the future. I’ve often wondered what kind of mental stress it causes us to be constantly exposed to low levels of noise. That said, more brainstorming is necessary regarding the safety of persons who are blind. The larger problem is that most cities are designed for cars with little consideration for people, blind or not.


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