NHTSA Delays Pedestrian-Alert Noises for Hybrid and Electric Cars

February 13, 2015

Quiet_Car_--Toyota-Google_ImagesOne of the reasons why electric and hybrid cars are preferred by most people is their calm operation. Regulators have however, noted that this may pose a risk to pedestrians. Following this, numerous attempts have been made to incorporate noise-making devices into new electric and hybrid vehicles. The role of such devices is alerting unaware or blind pedestrians of approaching cars. In 2011, there was the signing of the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act into law for the sole purpose of attaining the mentioned objective. Implementation of the law has apparently stopped. The final ruling date for the proposed standards has been postponed until the end of this year by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA). This implies that the proposed rule will be implemented in the year 2018.

The delay in question has further prolonged a debate that has been ongoing since the launch of the first hybrid cars more than ten years ago. Some groups, including the administration have raised numerous concerns following the rise of electric and hybrid cars. The administration has raised fears that pedestrians who are visually impaired or blind may be unaware of approaching cars in the absence of normal engine noises. In 2008, a conference was convened by NHTSA following the issue’s publicity. Two successive research studies were also conducted.

The first study was conducted in 2009 and it led to the finding that in comparison to conventional gasoline-fueled cars, electric and hybrid cars were twice as likely to cause pedestrian collision. The second study, conducted in 2011, led to the finding that there was a 35% higher probability of pedestrian collision in hybrid cars compared to conventional gasoline-fueled vehicles. In the first study, only data from twelve states was used. Additionally, the study included injuries from the year 2000, when hybrid cars were few on the roads. This was also ten years prior to the launch of the current electric cars’ generation. Nonetheless, there was the signing of Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act into law, with NHTSA gearing its efforts towards implementing it.

The rules proposed by the agency have been criticized by carmakers on the grounds of the sounds’ loudness. They have proposed for such devices to be put on cars that are quietest and not only on hybrid and electric cars. Some electric and hybrid drivers have also been reported to oppose the devices in question. This is because they like their cars to operate silently. A standard feature that has been provided by several electric car manufacturers is the alert noise.

 

Filed under: Electric Cars,hybrid cars,New Products for Hybrids,Press & Articles

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

(required)

(required), (Hidden)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

TrackBack URL  |  RSS feed for comments on this post.


Back to JuicedHybrid.com

Categories

Feeds

RSS AutoBlogGreen Feed

Pages

February 2015
M T W T F S S
« Jan   Mar »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
232425262728  

Archives

Back to Store

Meta