Electric cars are so quiet that the prospect of hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of them entering US roads in the next few decades has federal officials worried that they’ll endanger pedestrian safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced this week that starting in 2019, all newly manufactured hybrid and electric cars will need to have noisemakers installed to help others hear them when they’re traveling at speeds below 19 miles per hour (30km/h). Above that speed, noise generated by the wind and the car’s tires are deemed loud enough that additional noise isn’t required. “We all depend on our senses to alert us to possible danger,” US Transportation Secretary said Anthony Foxx in a press statement. The NHTSA estimates that adding noise to hybrid and electric vehicles will prevent about 2,400 pedestrian injuries each year. Related Articles McLaren Unveils Electric Car…for Kids As is, the federal mandate follows earlier initiatives from automakers, all of which have offered manually activated electronic warning sounds in some vehicles for years. The Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt are among those that are equipped with the technology in the US. The rules also follow similar ones enacted in Europe in 2015. Somewhat ironically, the… Read full this story
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