Electric Cars To Make Noise By Law?

The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 was introduced in the US Senate several weeks ago. The intent is to require electric and hybrid vehicles to make a "minimum level of sound" that disabled pedestrians may hear them.

Here are the relevant bits:

... blind pedestrians cannot locate and evaluate traffic by sight and instead must listen to traffic to discern its speed, direction, and other attributes in order to travel safely and independently;

... when operating on their electric engines, hybrid vehicles cannot be heard by blind people and others, rendering such vehicles extremely dangerous when driving on the street, emerging from driveways, moving through parking lots, and in other situations where pedestrians and vehicles come into proximity with each other;

... such accidents are preventable through vehicle designs which take into account the multi-sensory nature of traffic detection and avoidance, and require that vehicles emit a minimum level of sound designed to alert all pedestrians, especially blind pedestrians, to the presence of such vehicles.

Who would ever think to make a nice, silent vehicle more noisy - say with a nice, loud engine sound?

Robert Heinlein, that's who. In one of his last novels, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls (1985), Heinlein write about a replica Model T that was powered by a silent Shipstone power source.

...with its Shipstone concealed and a sound tape to supply the noise of a soi-disant "IC" engine, the difference between a working replica and a real "automobile" was not readily apparent.

This one was the swankiest of all replicas, a Tin Lizzy, a "Ford touring car, Model T, 1914."

"Need a lift, folks?" Uncle Jock asked. Up close the racket was horrible...
(Read more about Heinlein's car sound tape)

I hope you'll note (if you click through) that Heinlein thought you should have a choice about whether or not your silent car sounded like an internal combustion car - or not.

For a lighter look at this topic (before I thought they were actually going to try to do it), see the earlier article What Should A Hybrid Sound Like? .

Read more about the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 .

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/12/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 9 )

Related News Stories - (" Vehicle ")

Electric Vehicle Prices Will Drop To $2,890
'the human seats took up two-thirds of the room in each'

Tesla Model S And X Moves Toward KITT Knight Rider Styling
Now, that was a Pontiac Trans Am with some real style.

Gyro-X Self-Balancing Two-Wheeler Car
'Indeed, the gyrocar was a sight to make a man look twice.' - Kenneth Brown, 1911.

InMotion V11 Electric Unicycle Gets Air (Video)
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity...' - Robert Heinlein, 1941.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Listen Up, Coppertop - Wearable Device Turns You Into A Battery
'It's our way or the highway.'

Solar Powered Robot Cleans Up Solar Panels For Free
'... with large padded feet, who were apparently polishing their way the whole length of Rama's six artificial suns.'

Spot Arm From Boston Dynamics Picks Up Like Heinlein's Hired Girl Robot
'Anything larger than a BB shot it picked up and placed in a tray on its upper surface...'

Electric Vehicle Prices Will Drop To $2,890
'the human seats took up two-thirds of the room in each'

TIGER Ultimate Mobility Vehicle From Hyundai
'He admired the fast-plodding, articulated legs...'

Drones Communicate With Each Other Using Quantum Encryption
'the curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits...'

Space Construction Tools For Large Structures By OAC
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'

SpinCare Electrospins And Shoots Wound Dressing
'Over her lacerated right shoulder he sprayed art-derm...'

Tesla Model S And X Moves Toward KITT Knight Rider Styling
Now, that was a Pontiac Trans Am with some real style.

Sophia Robots By The Thousands
'There is a built-in microphone that hears everything you say, and an electric brain that selects a suitable answer.'

Scaly-Foot Snail Works With Iron
'Micro-Scale suit tiles fabricated by genetically engineered metal affinity bacteria...'

Updated Piaggio Gita Personal Robot Porter
'Carry his bag... and follow him faithfully...'

Las Vegas Tunnels To Have Autonomous Teslas
'...just a steady velvety whirr as the taxi sped along.'

TCL CSOT 17-Inch Printed OLED Scrolling Display
'..a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling colour.'

Reachy Humanoid VR Teleoperation App
"I went to the control room where the three other men were manipulating their mechanical men...'

Unitree A1 Robot ala Black Mirror and Snow Crash
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.