Tuesday, September 22, 2009

No vroom vroom unless called for.

Electric cars. The future of our modern society? You bet. From full blown electric, to hybrids, to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles the product line at your local auto dealer is changing for the better. We can all take a deep relaxing breath on that one. Or can we?

The problem with all of these new engine models is not one that you may think of right off the bat for larger cities. If these non-polluting, rolling hunks of metal and plastic aren't making noise, then who is going to hear them? "Hear them?", you ask. Yeah, the blind have a problem hearing a car coming that isn't making any noise. So, to combat this problem the automotive industry has decided to place sound emitters on cars to aid in detection.

I don't know about you but if I'm driving under 12 miles per hour (the point under which tires do not make enough noise to be heared) I am fairly capable of stopping quickly. If I can stop quickly then do I really need an object on my car that is going to make noise that doesn't need to be there? We have enough unwanted noise in this world today, from politicians, to crying infants (which will probably grow up to be those politicians), to that guy down the road that thinks it's so cool to have a muffler that makes his vehicle sound like the next space shuttle lifting off. Can we put more thought into this and instead of adding another device to a car that will add to the end cost on the consumer just step back and ask, "Is this thing really needed?"

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