Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Electric Cars To Make Noise By Law?

The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 was introduced in the US Senate several weeks ago. The intent is to require electric and hybrid vehicles to make a "minimum level of sound" that disabled pedestrians may hear them.

Here are the relevant bits:

... blind pedestrians cannot locate and evaluate traffic by sight and instead must listen to traffic to discern its speed, direction, and other attributes in order to travel safely and independently;

... when operating on their electric engines, hybrid vehicles cannot be heard by blind people and others, rendering such vehicles extremely dangerous when driving on the street, emerging from driveways, moving through parking lots, and in other situations where pedestrians and vehicles come into proximity with each other;

... such accidents are preventable through vehicle designs which take into account the multi-sensory nature of traffic detection and avoidance, and require that vehicles emit a minimum level of sound designed to alert all pedestrians, especially blind pedestrians, to the presence of such vehicles.

Who would ever think to make a nice, silent vehicle more noisy - say with a nice, loud engine sound?

Robert Heinlein, that's who. In one of his last novels, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls (1985), Heinlein write about a replica Model T that was powered by a silent Shipstone power source.

...with its Shipstone concealed and a sound tape to supply the noise of a soi-disant "IC" engine, the difference between a working replica and a real "automobile" was not readily apparent.

This one was the swankiest of all replicas, a Tin Lizzy, a "Ford touring car, Model T, 1914."

"Need a lift, folks?" Uncle Jock asked. Up close the racket was horrible...
(Read more about Heinlein's car sound tape)

I hope you'll note (if you click through) that Heinlein thought you should have a choice about whether or not your silent car sounded like an internal combustion car - or not.

For a lighter look at this topic (before I thought they were actually going to try to do it), see the earlier article What Should A Hybrid Sound Like? .

Read more about the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 .

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/12/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 9 )

Related News Stories - (" Vehicle ")

More Like A Tumblebug Than A Motorcycle
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'- Robert Heinlein, 1940.

Tesla Camera-Only Vision Predicted In 1930's SF
'By its means, the machine can see.' - Miles J. Breuer, 1930.

Aptera Solar EV More Stylish Than Heinlein Steel Tortoise
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.' - Robert Heinlein, 1940.

Arma Lunchbox-Sized Folding Electric Scooter
'You will notice that it is folded and telescoped into a compact mass which fits the suitcase nicely...' - E.D. Skinner, 1929.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Ulm Sleep Pods For The Homeless
'The lid lifted and she crawled inside...'

Prophetic Offers Lucid Dreaming Halo With Morpheus-1 AI
''Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer...'

More Like A Tumblebug Than A Motorcycle
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'

Tesla Camera-Only Vision Predicted In 1930's SF
'By its means, the machine can see.'

First Ever Proof Of Water On Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Aptera Solar EV More Stylish Than Heinlein Steel Tortoise
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Gigantic Space Sunshade Would Fight Global Warming
'...the light of the sun had been polarized by two crossed fields so that no radiation could pass.'

Untethered Spacewalk's 50th Anniversary
'But that space walk of mine wasn't so very amazing.'

ESA Designs Huge Inflatable Moonbase
'It was like being inside a balloon; indeed, that was exactly where he was.'

AlphaGarden Robot Cares For Gardens Better Than Humans
'...a simple clock-set servok with pipe and hose arms.'

Let's Make Slaver Sunflowers! Engineering Plants To Reflect Light
'The mirror-blossom was a terrible weapon.'

TeslaBot Uber Driver (2024) And The Automatic Motorist (1911)
'Robots have worse problems than anybody'

DiffuseBot Uses Generative AI To Invent New Soft Robots
'It embodies several small-scale multiple stampers, apparently for dealing with sheet metal.'

Philips Smart Palm Recognition Smart Deadbolt
'A palm lock must be keyed to one individual's hand shape...'

BMind Smart Mirror from Baracoda
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who has the greatest wellness of all?

Ballie Your AI Robot Companion From Samsung
Projects your content anywhere you like.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.