• Jan 6th 2011 at 4:55PM
  • 8
BMW ActiveE concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

In mid-December, the U.S. Senate and House voted to approve a measure that would require hybrids and plug-in vehicles to emit a sound when traveling at low speeds to warn nearby pedestrians. The bill, called the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010, requires that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sets a standard for an alert sound that will allow pedestrians to easily detect a nearby moving plug-in vehicle. This measure only applies to vehicles sold within the U.S. and not those distributed to foreign markets.

German automaker BMW, though, is weighing in on whether or not to follow the lead of rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz, both of which have already begun developing unique sounds for upcoming hybrid and plug-in vehicles. In an email correspondence with Automotive News (sub. req.), BMW spokesman Tobias Hahn confirmed that neither the Mini E prototype nor the ActiveE concept feature a pedestrian warning system, but he stated that the German automaker has:
Been looking into possible technical solutions for a while and would be able to add such a feature to our vehicles should this turn out to be a real problem. We are also cooperating with organizations for the visibly impaired in Germany.
Our guess is that several other countries across the globe will soon mandate a pedestrian warning system and BMW will be left with no choice but to incorporate sound into its future plug-in models.


  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think those actions are a little bit immature.
      My e-bike controllers were so noisy that all dogs in half a mile were starting to give alarm.
      Also we have locos here playing a nice melody when accelerating.
      I think nobody may hear EVs in loud situations and will not need additional noise in quiet ones. The real progress lays in remote vehicle identification and security shut off of engines.
      Imagine no more hassle with speeding control photos and no more police chases.
      Start putting active RFID into the plates.
      • 4 Years Ago
      @ uncle
      How about the oil lobby pushing the new congress to mandate DANGER, HIGH VOLTAGE signs on the hood and doors.??!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Shhh, don't give them ideas!

        Although, on the other hand... a gasoline car would quickly run out of space for the warning labels required by the flammable, explosive, carcinogenic, toxic and environmentally hazardous fuel.
      • 4 Years Ago
      For the low price of only $5, your local hardware store will be happy to sell you an Electric Vehicle Pedestrian Warning System Deactivation Kit, aka wire cutter ;)

      Afraid the police will catch and fine you for not having an operational pedestrian warning system?
      Any qualified mechanic will be happy to install you a Driver-operated Selective Electric Vehicle Pedestrian Warning System Deactivation Device, otherwise known as "hidden dashboard switch"
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hope this is all a bad dream that I'm having
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wake up.
        EVs are now mandated to make ugly and odd noises.
        Get a silent V8.

        Better for America, better for the world.
        Better for our children which will have to fight for the last ressouces.
        But they won't be run over by a DANGEROUS AND EVIL EV.

        The german car makers don't like evs because they don'T have the distinct Audi or Mercedes sound.
        So this law is perfect for them to build in big speakers making hideous burbling noises like a F1 car.
        WROARRRRRR WROARRRRRR WROARRRRRR WROARRRRRR WROARRRRRR
        there goes my hope for quieter more pleasant cities.

        thank you association of the blind
      • 4 Years Ago
      At least one company has some brain...