If you are the proud owner of an electric car, you should be able to select the sound it makes to warn pedestrians of its presence, according to a major road safety organisation in the United States.
The NHTSA, otherwise known as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, feels car manufacturers should offer motorists driving a so-called `quiet car` a selection of different sounds, which they will emit when moving beneath 19mph or 30kph.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is a part of the Department of Transportation, working for the Executive Branch of the U.S. government. The body has stated it aims to prevent accidents and injuries, preserve life and help decrease the number of vehicle collisions, and related incidents, in the United States.
The road safety body believes electric cars may be hazardous to cyclists, and sight and hearing-impaired pedestrians, due to the lack of sound they make when travelling at low speed. The demand for electric and hybrid cars to give off sounds loud enough to be heard when driving slower goes back almost a decade, since 2010. The rules to make sure vehicles conformed were drafted six years later. If the electric car exceeds 19mph, it is considered wind resistance and tyre noise produce adequate sounds to be heard by pedestrians and fellow road users.
Initially, manufacturers of battery-powered vehicles had till the beginning of September to make sure their makes met NHTSA requirements. But that has been put back, and they now have till next year to make quiet cars noisier and give off more warning.
To begin with, cars could only make a single type of noise, according to the original draft of regulations. Following calls from manufacturers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed electric cars be permitted to make a series of noises.
Many makes of battery-driven cars have artificial engine noises, increasing the sound of the engine, while other models have utilised unusual noises, such as the Mercedes AMG. It has collaborated with the US rock band Linkin Park to create sounds for its electric cars. Nissan has also experimented with a sound warning set up called Canto, inserting a choral component to the sound of the engine.
The NHTSA has implemented regulations so electric or battery-powered vehicles, ` can be heard, to reduce the chances of accidents. The addition of warning noises has been compulsory on new kinds of vehicles built after the 1st of July this year. Prior to this, It was only an optional feature on electric and hybrid cars.
Now that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has called for quiet cars to adhere to its regulations, it has not stopped car manufacturers from adding interesting exciting sounds. No rule says you cannot be creative when designing early warning systems to keep pedestrians safe.