Vroom Vroom

June 8, 2012 in Daily Bulletin, Signature

The US government is implementing new rules that regulate the amount of noise that cars can make. The twist? They’re trying to impose a minimum requirement for the amount of noise they make. Paul Collins explains:

  • Hybrid and electric cars are too silent. This means that people can’t hear them coming. Studies suggest that they are 37% more likely to collide with pedestrians and 66% more likely to collide with cyclists.
  • Car makers will be asked to add devices that replicate the sound of the engine of a traditional petrol powered car.
  • This isn’t as absurd as it sounds. We add a fake scent to natural gas so that we can detect it if it ever leaks.
  • In the 18th century governments required sleighs to have bells so that people heard them coming.

To read more including the perceptive individual who foresaw this problem in 1908, creative ways that car makers have tried to deal with it, why auto-manufacturers don’t want to add fake sounds, why a doorbell is one proposed solution, and why the car industry has been clumsy, click here.

Source: Slate