• Mar 2nd 2011 at 1:24PM
  • 12
Late last year, Nissan unveiled its "Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians" (VSP), a technical name for the noise-adding system found on the automaker's Leaf electric vehicle. Introduction of a pedestrian warning system on near-silent vehicles like the Leaf has been the subject of much debate, but with the U.S. House and Senate passing a measure that requires hybrids and plug-in vehicles to emit an audible sound to warn pedestrians, these noise-making setups will soon become standard on all electric-drive autos sold in the U.S.

However, over in the UK, the Nissan Leaf's pedestrian warning system has reportedly been deemed illegal, forcing the automaker to either remove or disable it. A Nissan spokeswoman told The Northern Echo that:
An intermittent beeping noise is fitted as standard to commercial vehicles such as buses and lorries, but UK law states that the sound must be capable of being disabled between 11:00 pm and 6:00 am. The audible system on the Leaf did not allow for that to be done, so the beeping sound is being removed entirely before the cars can be driven on roads in this country.
Unfortunately, removing the noise-making system will likely cause yet another "slight delay" in the delivery process. Still, Nissan remains confident that some UK customers will receive their Leafs before the end of March. Hat tip to Mark!

[Source: The Northern Echo]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 8 Months Ago
      It has been demonstrated that electric vehicles are not silent, at least no more so than the ever increasingly quiet gas engines (especially the tiny eco-engines equipped with turbochargers which acts as yet another muffler) at idle and low rpms.

      It makes sense for large trucks to beep when backing up, as with a trailer you can't see directly behind you without a camera and its far removed from the driver.

      But a driver can and is responsible for turning around in a Nissan leaf which is short w/ great visibility. So its the US law which is asinine and based on pure ignorance.
      • 8 Months Ago
      hehe nice. we don't need no stinking noise maker. walking into traffic without looking is foolish anyway.
      do we teach kids to close their eyes and listen for a combustion engine and then walk or do we teach them to look first..
      • 8 Months Ago
      UK drivers also don't have to deal with the annoying "nag screen" on their GPS when starting up their Leaf. It seems that the UK has figured out how to filter out ridiculous lawsuits that cause the US to have things like "pedestrian warning systems" and "Don't use this screen while driving warnings." It's almost as if they expect adults to be *gasp* responsible.

      Well, I'm still hoping to score a free Leaf in the Nissan contest. Nissan is offering a free LEAF to the 30 second video with the most votes.the 30 second video with the most votes. The "Hank Hill Needs A Leaf" one below is the funniest yet!!

      http://goo.gl/jITAw

      I'd appreciate any votes so please click the link and when you receive the one email from Nissan, you must click the "confirm vote" link or it won't be counted. Nissan doesn't collect any personal info and won't send anymore emails this is strictly to confirm that each vote is unique and legitimate. Check you email's spam folder if you don't see the auto reply email right away . And if it makes you laugh, please tell your friends to vote http://HankHillNeedsALeaf.com
      • 8 Months Ago
      I thought, though, that you were supposed to be able to turn off the sound in the Leaf. Only that it automatically turned back on when you started the car again. Perhaps it's just that you can't disable the beep when in reverse.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Doug,

        After starting the car, the forward (non-obtrusive) sound and the backing up (obtrusive) sound can both be stopped by pressing a button on the dashboard of the car. Upon car shutoff they get reset.

        Malcolm
      • 8 Months Ago
      a good decision in public interest
      • 8 Months Ago
      Humm. just sell the system on ebay, lots of people wouldn't mind adding it to an ICE car ;)
      • 8 Months Ago
      Looks like the UK did something right.
      • 8 Months Ago
      There's no news here really.

      This is just disabling the mandatory reversing beep and will at most just turn off the pedestrian warning by default, nothing is going to need to be unplugged as this will all be done in software settings which is something your dealer does on a daily basis.

      These noise regulations come from all those General Lee airhorns of the 1970s which led to a band on artificial noise devices fitted to vehicles except standard horns.

      To be honest, this is probably just a pre-emptive move to control the artificial noises rather than ban them altogether, and is more than likely just to tick a legislative box.
      • 8 Months Ago
      This is nonsense. With all the computers providing GPS and digital time sync in the Leaf, they can't program it to turn off in the UK?
        • 8 Months Ago
        Or remove the friggin' speaker. Maybe a stick a resistor in it's place.

        Cmon Nissan.. :P
      • 8 Months Ago
      delay?

      just have the dealers remove the speaker before sale.
      done.
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