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 |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 9 )
Related News Stories -
Swedes Premiere T-Pod Driverless Electric Truck
'the trucks gulped packages and scurried like beetles...' - Frederik Pohl, 1956.
Elon Musk Foretells Tesla Sans Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel... I don't need one.' - David Keller, 1935.
'Young Razorbacks Before Their Katanas Grow In'
'Twin robotic arms with gleaming three-foot sword blades unfolded from the forward hydraulic assemblies...' - Daniel Suarez, 2009.
Get Your Speeder Flying Motorcycle From Jetpack Aviation
'The flycycles were miracles of compact design.' - Larry Niven, 1970.
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.
Miners! NASA Wants To License RASSOR Excavator
'The borers had been dismantled and packed away.'
Bee+ Robobee Now With Four Wings
'It was a tiny thing, scarcely more than an inch and a half in length...'
CNSILK Robotic Spider Builder
'We could certainly spin a web right through the Solar System, if we can think of a good use for one.'
Starshade Will Help Space Telescope To Search For Exoplanets
'When it found planetary systems in its field, automatically shifted upon them a higher powered telespectroscope ...'
Tiny LEDs Developed For Dust-Sized Computers
'They use sparkles to talk to each other...'
Is There Extraterrestrial Life Here In The Solar System
'How fast is it moving? ...one meter per minute.'
Can We Comprehend Deep Learning Systems?
'Youíve nothing remotely like it, so I canít describe it to you.'
Skin Electronics Can Show Electrocardiogram
'... the young men in the streets who applied polyimde OLED body film to their bared shoulders.'
Chinese Fern Helps Remediate Arsenic Soil
'Bioengeering had put out a spec report on the long crawly things five months back.'
Skai Air Taxi Costs The Same As Uber
'The air-taxi found its way past and around other ground-cars...'
Neurodevices For Consumers? Neuroethicists (And Philip K Dick) Say 'Caveat Emptor'
'They tried to use it today and it wouldn't work. No colors and no ceph patterns, neither one...'
NASA 3D Printed Habitat Challenge Won By AI SpaceFactory
3D printing - on Mars!
The Future Of Elon Musk's Neuralink
'Cerebral Electromagnetic Emmission Amplification and Relay System ó call it artificial telepathy, if you like.'
Researchers Make You Say Anything in Videos
'[It] caused his televised image... to mouth the vowels and consonants beautifully.'
Jeff Bezos Tries Waldoes (Robotic Hands)
'Waldo put his arms into the primary pair before him...'
Asimov and Musk - Boring Company Tunnel vs. Street Race
'There was almost no sound, just a steady velvety whirr as the taxi sped along.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories