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Owners of electric cars could choose which fake noises their cars make as part of a new proposal



The federal government is calling on automakers to introduce artificial engine noise in electric and hybrid cars when driving at low speed to warn pedestrians. However, she wants to give the vehicle owners the opportunity to choose the sounds they use.

In a communication on the proposed rules setting, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that drivers should be able to "choose their preferred sound from the sound installed in the vehicle". However, NHTSA also asks for feedback on whether it should limit the number of fake sounds that manufacturers are allowed to install.

The proposed scheme would be a modification of the February 2018 rules requiring electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles to emit low-speed sounds to prevent injury to pedestrians, particularly blind or visually impaired persons. NHTSA has recently extended the full compliance deadline to 2020, while vehicles sold in the European Union will run until 2021.

Electric cars are quieter than their internal combustion engines. Have counterparts. The only sounds EVs normally generate are caused by wind resistance or tire noise, only at moderate to high speeds.

The new rule requires all newly manufactured electric vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds to make an audible noise traveling forward or backward at a speed of 30 km / h or less. According to NHTSA, the acoustic warning is not required at higher speeds, as other factors such as tire and wind noise "provide pedestrians with an adequate acoustic warning". Initially, NHTSA did not specify which types of noise the manufacturers wanted to incorporate into their vehicles.

Some automakers have already selected their sounds. Mercedes-Benz has an artificial buzzer for its EQC electric program, while VW announces that its compact ID.3 electric vehicles will be equipped with a low-speed fake sound from 2020 onwards. Mercedes-AMG, The car manufacturer's performance brand is working with rock band Linkin Park to find a bass-slapping sound for their vehicles.

Some automakers are already looking for ways to make money with the lack of noise in electric vehicles. According to Porsche offers in the configurator for its recently introduced electric Taycan sports car, an interior sound worth $ 500.

Other automakers, however, are looking for workarounds. Last year The Verge reported that Ford is seeking a partial waiver for its deployment of police vehicles. The company asks if there could be an "off-counter" – presumably to allow law enforcement officers to use their electric vehicles to track down suspected criminals.


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