NHTSA Proposes Noise Guidelines to Warn Pedestrians of EVs and Hybrids

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Makers of electric vehicles and hybrids take pride in their advanced technologies moving vehicles down roads smoothly, efficiently, and quietly, which seemed unattainable not that long ago; as for now, they’re continuing to take flak from regulators for these propulsion systems being too quiet. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed a minimum sound standard for EVs and hybrids to help reduce pedestrian fatalities. These vehicles are virtually silent at slow speeds, sometimes making it very difficult and dangerous for pedestrians to detect the approaching vehicle – especially visually impaired pedestrians.

The new regulation proposal comes from the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010, and would require these vehicles to meet a minimum sound requirement when traveling under 10 miles per hour. Automakers get to choose which noise each car makes, but vehicles of the same make and model must emit the same sound. NHTSA is adamant about it and believes that adopting its proposal could prevent thousands of injuries per year.

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