I know my main topic here is politics but sometimes auto-related stuff (my other passion) gets thrown in for good measure, this is one of those instances.
In one of my previous posts, I discussed laws that concerned the Pruis and other electric cars having some kind of alert system for pedestrians because they ran so quietly in comparison to other cars. I brought up the Fisker Karma which has a speaker system outside the car that imitates the sounds of a combustion engine running at the approximate speed and RPMs of the electric engine.
Toyota who make the Prius, my main concern, are doing something about it! Toyota who is under suit because someone in a Pruis hit a kid in the street who claimed he didn't even hear a car coming at all. Obviously there are a lot of facts of this case that aren't available yet because it could have been the kid's fault for being in the street.. but I digress. Now Toyota has announced a joint project with Lotus to put 300 Watt speakers just behind the car's grill that mimic a flat-6 or V8 engine sound to warn those in front of them of the hybrid's impending arrival.
I'm glad that the auto industry is finally updating their ways considering that although Hybrids may help the environment in various ways (although that is questionable.. part 1, part 2, part 3) the creation of hybrids also creates new problems. Although I am not a fan of government regulations because they usually bungle it, the federal gov't should definitely start talking regulation to ensure saftey if the industry is so slow to adopt safety measures.
Autoblog story - here