Electric cars are famous for how quiet they are compared to regular gas-guzzlers. This is good for noise pollution, bad for pedestrians – especially the visually impaired. Manufacturers are well aware of the issue, and solutions like Toyota's
proximity notification system are becoming more popular. What's not in place, yet, is industry-wide legislation to ensure all EVs
have such a safety feature built-in. A law requiring cars have automatic audible alerts for pedestrians proposed in 2013 is in process, but Reuters
reports the US Department of Transportation
that's just been delayed until at least March next year – it was originally planned to come in to action this fall. The law would cost automakers an estimated $23-million in the first year to implement.
A few more month's wait might not seem a lot, but NHTSA's
estimates suggest an average of 234 fewer pedestrian and cyclist injuries each month would occur if "quiet cars" were forced to include audible alerts. The government doesn't have a clear explanation for the delay, just that extra "coordination" is needed.This article by James Trew originally ran on Engadget, the definitive guide to this connected life.