Why to Have a Quiet Car?

Sat, 09/24/2011 - 06:49
Everyone has experienced it. Just as one step on the gas for accelerating on a green light, a roar of a nearby engine is heard and someone is seen in a car trying to show off the power of their car engine. However, most people think that loud noises from car engines are irritating and disturb the peaceful environment. The question is that whether it may be considered as actually making the roads safer. For a long time, the auto manufacturers have been working hard for making cars as quiet as possible. After all, no one wants to drive a car that thumps down the road altering everyone of its presence. At the moment, there are plug-in hybrids and electric cars that not only decrease air pollution but they also reduce noise pollution with their silent engines. However, this silence causes a new safety problem for pedestrians because a very quiet car is not easily heard. A research study conducted by the University of California Riverside reveals that hybrids might not be too much noisy. The researchers had found out that test subjects were able to properly judge the approaching non-hybrid car driving at a slow speed when it was just about 28 feet away. Although such similar subjects were not able to judge the approaching hybrid car driving at a speed below 20 miles per hour when it was roughly seven feet away, it means that they only have a second for reacting to an incoming hybrid car. Researchers luckily believe that hybrid cars are likely to generate enough noise at speeds above 20 to 25 miles per hour making them audible at a longer distance. A question comes to one’s mind that what these studies really mean. Slow speed hybrid cars can pose danger to pedestrians and children who are not able to hear approaching electric cars or hybrid cars in parking areas or in residential streets. The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 was introduced to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on 28 January 2009. This bill had established a federal safety noise standard for protecting pedestrians from especially quiet cars. The New York Times report that some hybrid automakers were working with special-effects experts of Hollywood to customize engine noises. Toyota, BMW and Nissan were all working on engine sounds as part of their future vehicles. BMW is also working on the possibility to allow buyers to select their own noise on future electric BMW cars. It is interesting to know that in the coming future, one might hear some interesting noises and sounds on the road altering to the approach of a hybrid car.

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