'roadside hazard'에 해당되는 글 1건

  1. 2009.07.13 I Told You So! : The Perils of Hybrid Cars (53)
Korea Technology Review2009.07.13 19:15



"I told you so!"  

I may have earned a bragging right or two. Last April, while blogging about the latest trends in hybrid cars, I predicted how auto manias would yearn for the old-fashioned engine sound in the silent age of electric cars. 

"Aging auto purists will still yearn for old-fashioned vrooming sounds from the 20th century gas-guzzlers, however. Never worry though, since the hi-fi stereo in your brand-new hybrid car will inevitably give you an option to pump up several versions of simulated muscle-car sounds from speakers -- every time you step on the "gas."

Well, Tom Zeller, a green columnist for the New York Times, seems to agree with me. T
he Japanese Transport Ministry confirmed earlier this month, Zeller reports, that the department had assembled a panel to consider the idea of adding “a sound-making function” to hybrid-electric vehicles.

“Blind people depend on sounds when they walk,” the official told Agence France-Presse. “But there are no engine sounds from hybrid vehicles when running at low speed.

Drivers and pedestrians use both visual and aural information when it comes to anticipating the roadside hazards around them, just as they rely on reassuring click sounds of iPhone's virtual keyboards whey they type text on its touch screen. T
o blind pedestrians, but also to bicyclists, children and others, the relative quiet of electric vehicles has long been considered a potential hazard. Presumably, they are better served by the rumbling declarations of the internal combustion engine.

Old habits die hard. We interpret ear splitting blares from a double-horn as a signal of an incoming truck or trailer. Car designers have been thoughtful enough to assign a matching horn sound to a specific type of vehicle, helping drivers to warn pedestrians of their looming presence on the road.  This way, people can anticipate the dangers without necessarily looking back.

I believe drivers of the future hybrid or electric cars could download any automobile or engine sound they want to simulate with to their stereos before they hit the road, including of course a premium option to choose from those by some classic muscle cars.
Posted by PSB

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