The National Federation for the Blind is asking car manufacturers to make hybrid cars artificially noisy to alert blind pedestrians that they are nearby. They’re also trying to get minimum noise standards for cars included in new emissions legislation.
I will use the Nissan LEAF EV as an example. Since the electric motor is completely silent, the only noises you hear while driving an EV are dependent on how fast you’re driving, the kind of tires you have, and the condition of the road. At low speeds while driving around town, EVs are a bit of a threat to people who aren’t able to pick up on the visual cues of such a silent car. These people include the visually impaired, children and the elderly. Nissan has decided that at speeds under 12 mph, the upcoming LEAF EV will emit a “beautiful and futuristic” noise, much like the sounds that flying cars emit in sci-fi movies (like “Blade Runner”).
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