The hybrid and electric car revolution has brought forth a lot of interesting debates. From the efficiency of the batteries, to how much the environment is damaged when making such a car or what type of power should be used.
But one new question is quickly becoming more and more important, not only in the public media but also in the governments of many countries. Should hybrid and electric cars be forced to make noises associated to a regular car?
Imagine this, you are walking down the road, perhaps with headphones in your ears and listening to your favorite songs, and you want to cross the road, but forget (for the sake of this example) to double check, relying only on your sense of sound. According to a study made by the University of California, people were able to hear normal cars from as far as 28 feet (8.5 meters), while silent-running electric ones were barely noticed at 7 feet (2 meters).
This could lead to quite a few accidents, and now the US government is considering imposing a “minimum noise” standard, as to “warn” others of the vehicle’s presence. It will also be a balancing act, as cars also need to prevent noise pollution. This has led to many companies already considering sound systems, like the Fisher Karma, which will have speakers in its bumpers. Other companies will deliver multiple types of engine sounds, or even the possibility to upload your own, in order to inform others.
What do you think? Should hybrid and electric cars be left silent or should we hear the Toyota Prius as an Aston Martin supercar? Leave a comment with your opinion.
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