I got this in email this morning. Thing is, it says the driver can turn the sound off. So, I doubt this will do much good. Maybe I’m just bitter this morning ha!
With hybrids startling pedestrians in parking lots because of their silent
running, there has been some talk of putting synthetic sound-emitting
devices in the vehicles–to put a bell on the cat, as it were. Beyond the
talk, nothing has actually been done, until now. Nissan announced a
pedestrian safety sound system for its upcoming Leaf electric car.
The sound system includes a speaker under the hood and a synthesizer in the
dash. The driver will be able to turn it off, but it comes on by default at
start up. At speeds above 18 mph (30 kph), the system turns off as natural
road noise heightens.
The sound, a sine wave sweeping from 2.5kHz to 600Hz, was designed to be
audible to all age groups. At start-up, the sound comes on at its loudest to
warn the visually impaired and other pedestrians that a car is about to
enter their vicinity. When the Leaf is reversing, the system produces an
intermittent sound, similar to the back-up warning systems on trucks.
According to Nissan, the sound was designed to meet guidelines for an
audible pedestrian warning system set forth by Japan’s Ministry of Land,
Infrastructure and Transport.
The Nissan Leaf goes on sale this December in the United States, Japan,
Portugal, and the Netherlands, and will be the first production vehicle to
incorporate this type of system.