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2010 Lexus HS 250h - Click above for high-res image gallery

2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for a high-res image gallery

2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for a high-res image gallery

It's been a little while since we've heard about the supposed dangers of electric and hybrid vehicles that shut down their engines and therefore stop producing the sound of fuel being ignited and exhaled, but the issue is apparently alive and well. Lotus Engineering and Harmon International, two heavyweights in their respective industries, have teamed up to create a new technology known as Electronic Sound Synthesis (ESS).

Hybrid and fully electric vehicles have come under fire as of late due to the quietness at which they operate. While this is seemingly a good thing for passengers of the vehicle, there are legitimate concerns that blind people will not be able to detect the rapidly approaching vehicle if it is not making any sound. Along with blind pedestrians, safety advocates are concerned that children and cyclists will be at risk from silent vehicles.

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