EV's And Hybrids Make New Sound For Vision Impaired Pedestrians

Go Ultra Low Electric Vehicle on charge on a London street

DEARBORN, MI — Silence isn't always golden and, in fact, it can be down right dangerous sometimes.

Lee Newcombe with Ford says that federal regulations now require all new hybrids and EV's to have a manufactured sound to let visually impaired pedestrians know about oncoming traffic.

"It's important to make sure you're giving people, whether they're blind or even distracted, an indication of which way the vehicle is coming from. It was both determining the right frequency of sound and also the directional piece was a big component of it as well," Newcombe said.

He says the sound modulates, changing with the speed of the vehicle.

"You can see an instance where you might be inadvertently standing in front of a running car that's parked, not know it's running, and have an incident there, so it's important for people to know if a car is running, regardless if it's moving or parked," Newcome said.

The driver, though, cannot hear the sound from inside the car while driving. Newcome says, "the only time I've ever picked it up honestly when I've been the is when I pull to the drivethru, say you're having a coffee and the window's down and I can hear the sound bouncing off the brick walls, other than that you'd never know it's on."

EV's And Hybrids Make New Sound For Vision Impaired Pedestrians