USDOT Finalizes Rule To Make Electrified Vehicles Emit A Low-Speed Alert Sound For Pedestrians

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The US Department of Transportation has finalized a rule that will have automakers adding a mandatory aural alert to quiet hybrid and pure-electric vehicles, many of which are virtually silent at low speeds compared to cars with traditional internal combustion engines. The rule is intended to help pedestrians, cyclists, and the blind avoid injury by providing an audible warning whenever an uncommonly quiet vehicle is approaching.

According to Automotive News, the rule requires that all “quiet” electrified vehicles be equipped by September, 2020 with an externally-mounted, waterproof speaker that emits a warning sound at speeds of 30 kph (18.6 mph) or less. Automakers must have the system installed in at least 50% of their quiet hybrid and electric vehicles by September, 2019.

The alert sound won’t be required at speeds greater than 30 kph because, regulators say, even quiet electrified vehicles produce sufficient sound in the form of wind, tire, and other noise sources to alert people traveling on foot or by bicycle that the vehicle is approaching.

For Ford Motor Company, which last month announced its plan to invest some $11 billion into bringing out 40 new electrified vehicles by 2022, the new rule means that Ford will have to put a not-insignificant amount of money into equipping the passenger vehicles with the requisite equipment. Additionally, creating an alert that’s sufficiently loud and communicative while still being palatable to the driver might pose its own challenge for Ford and other automakers. According to Automotive News, regulators will consider a request from automakers to allow the inclusion of several different alert sounds, from which the user will be able to select their preferred alert.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates the annual cost to automakers at $40 million to abide by the new rule, but the government body estimates that it could prevent as many as 2,400 injuries per year by 2020.

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Written by Aaron Brzozowski

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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2 Comments

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  1. How about getting rid of electric cars completely. We have v8 cars running 30mph with nearly 500hp and with 10 speed automatics now along with dual injection, cylinder deactivation and things like that plus we have twin turbo v6 hybrids and everything else what do we need electric cars for? There is no need for electric cars or autonomous vehicles

  2. HELP! my face is swollen and has a hard lump after dermal filler injection!? After bad icepick scarring, the doctor had to correct the depressed scars which resulted from it. I was treated with dermal fillers on my left cheek. A series of injection was performed and there was one depressed scar where the doctor did several pricks with the needle. This injected area in my left cheek is now all swollen! It has formed a very hard and big lump which now stretches up to the bottom of my eyelid! The lump is very painful and hard and is the size of a tablespoon I swear! I can hardly touch it I feel an electrifying pain each time I do. What”s worse, my cheek”s appearance is even worse than before I had all this treatment for acne scars and it”s really frustrating me! Please help. Will this hard lump still heal? Will this still be gone from my face? I feel like i have a very big cyst in my cheek! I have consulted the doctor but not much help there. I just need to extend and ask help from some other experts here who may be familiar with this. Right now, I”m trying to apply a warm compress every now and then to the injected area. I don”t know if this is the right thing to do but this is what the doctor has advised me. She said this should heal in 3-5 days but I don”t have faith in her words anymore. The hard lump is still there!

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