Japanese buyers will be able to specify their Prius with a noise-making device to warn pedestrians
26 August 2010

Toyota is to fit Prius models in Japan with a noise-making device to warn pedestrians of the car's presence.

The Prius is near-silent at low speeds and has attracted criticism from pedestrians who are unaware of it approaching. The ‘on-board approaching vehicle audible system’ will initially only be available in Japan, where earlier this year the government issued guidelines on hybrid noise; it will cost 12,600 yen (£100).

Read more on Japan's plans to 'un-silence' hybrids

The sound comes from a speaker mounted under the bonnet, and will vary in pitch relative to the speed of the car to help indicate the vehicle’s proximity and movement.

Groups representing blind people have led calls for regulations on noise, requiring manufacturers to add a sound that would alert cyclists and pedestrians alike.

Last year a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US found that hybrids were twice as likely to be involved in a pedestrian accident as conventional cars.

Read more on Chevrolet testing a noise-emitting device for the Volt

When Nissan launches its electric Leaf next year, it will equip it as standard with a turbine sound akin to an aeroplane taking off. The device will only work at speeds up to 30mph; at higher speeds tyre and aerodynamic noise will be sufficiently loud.

Rules regarding the noise of electric and hybrid vehicles are also expected to be introduced in the US and Europe.

Alan Riddoch

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Comments
11

26 August 2010

"CAUTION, CAUTION! I've no brakes...."

26 August 2010

I used something similar on my bike when I was young. Playing cards sellotaped to the forks so that they stuck in the spokes. The bike made a "frapp" noise that varied with speed and alerted dog walkers to my approach. It also allowed a 7 year old me to pretend he was driving a motorbike, vroom vroom.

 

26 August 2010

A police siren would obviously be ideal for other vehicles will ease traffic out of your way while for pedestrians something like a foghorn from a ship should do the job.

26 August 2010

Just drive with the windows down, music blaring - or if not, just lean out and shout at them to get out of the way!


The final alternative, is an old fashioned bell from a bike - have not seen a cyclist with one for years!! They just like to sneak up on you and expect you and your poor dog to know they are there!! Then moan when the dog gives them what for!!!

To live is to drive

26 August 2010

[quote Leslie Brook]I used something similar on my bike when I was young. Playing cards sellotaped to the forks so that they stuck in the spokes. The bike made a "frapp" noise that varied with speed and alerted dog walkers to my approach. It also allowed a 7 year old me to pretend he was driving a motorbike, vroom vroom.[/quote]

I used to do this as well, though only for the latter of your two reasons. Thinking about it now it probably drove the neighbours mad..

(Is that an Austin Ambassador Y-reg?)

26 August 2010

why are blind people cycling????

26 August 2010

Surely the sensible solution is to require drivers of these vehicles to employ someone to walk in front of the car with a red flag and a bell. This would improve safety and reduce the unemployment figures at the same time.

26 August 2010

[quote catnip](Is that an Austin Ambassador Y-reg?)[/quote] Don't keep asking me Y-reg it just happens to be that year.

 

26 August 2010

When are they launching the 'interesting' Prius???!!!!

26 August 2010

[quote Leslie Brook][quote catnip](Is that an Austin Ambassador Y-reg?)[/quote] Don't keep asking me Y-reg it just happens to be that year.[/quote]

Fantastic!

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