SAN FRANCISCO--You've spoken (as have listeners of National Public
Radio), and the verdict is in: If your electric vehicle has to make
sounds at low speeds, you'd prefer the Jetsons. Or one of those
weird Hollywood-inspired alien sounds. Or the old playing
Last week, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
opened the commenting period for proposed mandatory sounds that EVs
and PHEVs would have to make under 30 kph an hour. We asked (and NPR
must have been peeking over our shoulder) what sounds you'd like to
hear coming from EVs.
The syncopated clops of horse shoes hitting the ground. At 4 mph and below the gait would be a walk. At speeds from 5 mph to 10 mph the sound should transition to a trot. From 10 mph to 17 mph it should be a canter, and speeds from 18 mph to 30 mph the sound should be a gallop. In this way, sight-impaired people will know how fast a vehicle is approaching so they can adjust accordingly.
I have a serious comment that I'd like to send to this National Highway Transportation Safety Administration study. Do you know how I can submit such feedback to them?
In particular, I want to recommend to them that they not make recommendations not specific to EVs or hybrids, but to any vehicles that make less than so-and-so much sound volume at low speed, regardless of why that may be the case.