Vehicles That Are Too Quiet May Be Dangerous! New Sound Standards for Vehicles Proposed!

January 14, 2013

Cars and trucks that are too quiet? In fact, it appears that some vehicles are so quiet that they may be dangerous! The National Highway Transportation Safety Agency has proposed a new safety standard, as required by the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act (PSEA) of 2010, which proposes to establish a Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) setting minimum sound requirements for hybrid and electric vehicles. This new standard would require hybrid and electric passenger cars, light trucks and vans (LTVs), medium and heavy duty, trucks, and buses, low speed vehicles (LSVs), and motorcycles to produce sounds meeting the requirements of this standard. This proposed standard applies to electric vehicles (EVs) and to those hybrid vehicles (HVs) which are capable of propulsion in any forward or reverse gear without the vehicle’s internal combustion engine (ICE) operating. This standard would ensure that blind, visually-impaired, and other pedestrians are able to detect and recognize nearby hybrid and electric vehicles, as required by the PSEA, by requiring that hybrid and electric vehicles emit sound that pedestrians would be able to hear in a range of ambient environments and contain acoustic signal content that pedestrians will recognize as being emitted from a vehicle.

 

 

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