NHTSA Wants Noisier EVs for Safety Concerns
The official statement says: “Our proposal would allow manufacturers the flexibility to design different sounds for different makes and models while still providing an opportunity for pedestrians, bicyclists and the visually impaired to detect and recognize a vehicle and make a decision about whether it is safe to cross the street.”
The proposed new law says that at speeds under 18 mph, the vehicle is required to emit sounds which are loud enough to cover background noises, and be clearly audible to warn pedestrians that it is approaching. Above 18 mph, the electric engine becomes more audible, and road noise also alerts people that a vehicle is coming.
Since we have gotten used to cars looking and sounding the way they do for over a century now, it is hard for some to adapt to the changing trends, and actually look before they cross the street, even though they don`t hear a vehicle coming. Still, the NHTSA is right, and in crowed cities, where you can`t hear tire noise, EVs are a real threat!