Electric Vehicles may need to make more noise!

  • 2 July 2019
  • 5 replies
Electric Vehicles may need to make more noise!
Userlevel 7

Check out this article on! Is this something any of our EV owners on the forum have experienced?

We've just tweeted about it, and already had some good suggestion, a wet flip flop, or a unicorn farting are a few of my favourites so

I have definitely seen this in Amsterdam, a group of tourists nearly knocked down by a Tesla that they didn't hear coming! Obviously some common sense has to prevail, as to be fair they were in the road taking pictures!

Is this the beginning of manufacturers starting to have a "sound" for their EV's that everyone recognises? A bit like the roar of a Ferrari or Aston Martin, will they be instantly recognisable and become iconic? I guess only time will tell.

What do you all think? Share your thoughts below!

@aaronr @PeterR1947 @NoPoke @tterb @Delboy @Brummiejon @ITGeek123

5 replies

Userlevel 5
It is not at all as clear cut an issue as is claimed.

Pedestrians wear earphones. Cyclists too 😞 neither will hear any vehicle unless it makes a *lot* of noise.

There are a lot of quiet cars that can not be heard when approaching as the exhaust noise is directed away from pedestrians who might come into conflict by stepping infront of a car.

What about those who are deaf? Flashing lights for all?

Where there may be a problem is with guide dogs. I need to find out if guide dogs are taught to cross roads away from crossings. If they are then having the dogs learn to use their eyes and not just their ears would seem like the safest approach. Not least because the legislation will not be retrospectively applied so there are going to be a lot of quiet cars on the roads.
Userlevel 5

How much less safe? Less isn't a very useful measure.
40% higher risk. But what is the base figure for injury to guide dogs? I haven't found an actual figure. Plus risk is very hard to quantify, so I expect very large error bars on that 40% figure. That is it could be a lot higher.

Finally if all cars make a noise won't we just tune out or turn up the headphones? After all we are most sensitive to changes in environment not the unchanging . Guide dogs may not wear headphone but they will tune out in just the same way that we do as their brains are not so very different from ours.
Userlevel 5
I found one example for injury where a guide dog deliberately stepped in front of its owner to prevent collision with a bus.

All the other research I've found is about risk of head injury from bumping into things with or without a guide dog to help. .

Need help finding real data to put the 40% into context.
Userlevel 5
Must learn to condense my thinking and searching. Seven guide dogs injured and traumatised over a two year period. Injured by other dogs. Still can't find any RTA data.
Userlevel 4
I'm sure pedestrians already get knocked down by vehicles running on dino-juice because they do not pay attention. The worst place seems to be supermarket car parks.
When I'm driving in fully electric mode I am fully aware that pedestrians and cyclists might not hear me and drive accordingly in order to avoid a mishap. All drivers irrespective of vehicle propulsion system should drive defensively and anticipate the sometimes crazy actions of other road users.
Cyclists and pedestrians should be similarly aware of all possible dangers.

As I understand the new regulations it is possible to turn the "sound" off so I don't think there will actually be many heard.