NHTSA to Make Hybrids and EVs Noisier for Safety

Nissan Leaf
Hybrids and EVs could be required to emit sound to alert pedestrians in the near future. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced its intentions to create standards for the protection of pedestrians, bikers, and the visually-impared.

EVs such as the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf have warning tones already in place, but hybrids are by and large lacking this feature. With the emergence of more EVs and hybrids in the market, a standardized warning will increase in importance. “Even as we make giant leaps forward with hybrid and electric vehicles, we must remain laser focused on safety,” stated NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.

Under the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010, NHTSA must come to a decision regarding standards by January 2014, with them taking effect within three years thereafter.

The NHTSA notice states that the agency is considering a system that mimics the sounds of standard cars, a new synthetic sound, or some combination of both.

Article source: http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/rulemaking/pdf/QuietCar-noi-draft.pdf