Hybrid Cars Too Quiet? Japan May Require Adding NoiseBy Cuong Huynh • Jul 4th, 2009 • Category: Clean Car Talk Daily Snapshots
Hybrid cars are inherently quiet at low speed, when many can operate on silent electric motors. For some automobile users including the vision-impaired, these soundless vehicles humming along cities streets may be a hazard.
Many people, not just those with vision impairment, depend on hearing sounds when they walk. With quieter cars, walking in the city is becoming a different experience. And safety is one of those concerns.
Japan’s transport ministry is considering requiring car manufacturers to add noise-making devices to hybrids and other silent vehicles. The ministry has launched a panel of scholars, vision-impaired groups, consumers, automakers and law enforcement to look into the matter, hopefully coming up with a solution to this potential problem, as more hybrids are getting on the roads.
One of the requirements will be that the sound or sounds should induce a response of caution. We certainly don’t want more noise pollution in the city, and several issues will have to be worked out. They have to decide on the kind of sound hybrid cars should have, and if manufacturers can choose their own sounds, maybe even a different sound for different car models. In general people want less sound where they live and work, so it will be interesting to see where this is going.
The U.S. Congress is also looking into the matter. Here’s a clip from AP asking the question “Are Hybrids Cars Too Quiet?”
Cuong Huynh is a marketing communications consultant working in the San Diego area. Cuong is dedicated to helping individuals and companies maximize their presence on the Internet and efficiently take products and services to market through SEO and network marketing. Cuong also maintains a blog on Marketing at marketingautopsyblog.com. You can also find Cuong Huynh's profile on LinkedIn. For fun he maintains a blog on Vietnamese pho, soccer and do storyboards for movie and film projects. Follow Cuong on Twitter @CuongHuynh, @LovingPho, @CleanCarTalk, @BlockbusterFilm, @SoccerUSA.
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