HomeTechnologyNewsYour EV can't have a custom low-speed noise, says US

Your EV can’t have a custom low-speed noise, says US

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Electric vehicles are mostly silent, so they make a special sound when driving at low speeds to alert pedestrians. In theory, that sound could be anything, but the United States has decided not to let drivers change it.

Electric vehicles in the United States (and most other countries) are required to play outward-facing sounds when the car is moving at low speeds, much like the beeps of many cars and trucks when in reverse. Sound is an important indicator for anyone walking near an EV, as the cars are otherwise completely silent, excluding the sound of tires rolling across the ground or pavement.

The low motion sound is generally not configurable, but the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration introduced a proposal in 2019 that would have allowed automakers to offer multiple options for sound. However, according to Reuters, NHTSA has now abandoned the proposal. The agency said “removing this restriction would allow manufacturers to make darker sounds that only appeal to a small minority of (hybrid electric) owners.”

It’s a shame that future electric vehicles (or at least those sold in the US) won’t have the option to play the star trek theme or air horns to alert people nearby, but it’s probably best. More jarring sounds could scare people, and more subtle sounds could make fewer people notice, leading to more injuries. The NHTSA projected that existing low-level noise prevented 2,400 injuries in 2020.

Source: Reuters
Via: TheVerge

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