Whether they be Hybrids that run on electric in the city, all electric vehicles, or fuel cell vehicles they are all nearly silent or completely silent when driving in the inner-city. The blind people are pissed, and a little scared.
For the past god knows how long blind people have gotten by walking through the city with use of the heightened sense of sound so they can hear the cars driving by with their fairly audible motors and can avoid being hit. These days its gotten a lot harder with the large number of hybrid vehicles, most of which run only on the silent electric motor when going city speeds, and then there are all electric vehicles that are growing more and more popular that are completely silent.
At most a blind person could hope to hear maybe some tire noise, or, if they are lucky, some whine from the transmission or electric motor, that’s it. So they are trying to get laws past requiring manufacturers of these vehicles to put some sort of constantly audible sound making device on the vehicles, which goes against one of the selling points of these cars which is their relative silence.
I still remember a story from a while ago where a gentleman driving the completely silent, all electric, Tesla Roadster got pulled over for speeding, but argued that it had to have been a speed trap, which was illegal in his state, since there is no way the officer could have heard the vehicle, and won. So if you are losing, have lost, or never had sight, my condolences, but at the same time, please lay off the silent vehicles, there is already enough sound pollution in the world today, instead work on a device for yourselves that is silent to everyone else, but can sense the range of a silent vehicle and warn you, and you alone.
Blind Pedestrians Continue Their Fight Against “Silent” Hybrids [via dailytech]