Common Complaints from Owners of Hybrid Cars
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Common Complaints from Owners of Hybrid Cars

Why people like their hybrid

The few people whom I know who own a hybrid, have nothing but favorable remarks about their cars, in spite of the fact that their cars were a little more pricier than cars run by gas.

They love the idea that they were saving on gas and eventually felt they got more than their money’s worth.

However, in spite of the fact that many people like their electric cars, there are some complaints about them.

People are complaining that these cars are too silent and are not making enough noise to warn some people.

An example of this was when a woman complained that she could not hear a car in a parking lot. She said she was walking through a bank parking lot when her foot was run over by a Toyota Prius. The driver of the car was backing out of a parking space, but this woman could not hear the car and kept on walking, and therefore she was harmed a bit.

Since this has happened, there is now concern that there could be more accidents of this type. Apparently, this situation occurs when the electric vehicle is running at very low speeds on electric power.

It is said that the noise the electrical vehicle makes, can be compared to that of a golf cart. Besides not making noise when they turn left or right, they do not make much of a sound at anytime when driven at low speeds.

This lack of noise is not only a concern for the blind, but it can also be a hazard to pets, joggers, children, cyclists, and people who do not see the car coming.

Although there have been no deaths or serious injuries caused by these quiet-running hybrids, an ongoing study at UC Riverside has produced some evidence that hybrids may be a problem to some pedestrians.

The auto industry, state lawmakers and federal regulators are aware of this situation and would like to do something about it. The problem that disturbs these individuals is that these vehicles are powered by a combination of gasoline and electricity. These noiseless cars will be more of a problem when they will be powered only by electricity. There is concern that there will be very little noise no matter what the speed of the car will be.

Lotus Engineering and Harmon International are working together to see of they can find a solution to this problem. They are working together to create a new technology known as Electronic Sound Synthesis (ESS) They are hoping that this technology will produce an artificial vehicle noise. They are also hoping that if they cannot get the hybrid to sound like the typical sound of an engine, they will strive for making another sound such as is made by the neighborhood ice cream truck-----any type of noise that will make a pedestrian know that there is an approaching car on the road.

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Comments (2)

A very interesting point but is the concern here really the lack of noise made by the car or the lack of attention on both the drivers part and pedestrian's part? Most modern gasoline powered cars make little noise when backing up. If people want electric cars to "make noise" when in reverse, why not simply put a signal device on them like there are on most commercial trucks that beeps when the vehicle is in reverse? That would make more sense to me than designing an electronic sound synthesization system to generate the sound of a gasoline engine running at high RPM.

I agree with Jerry, wouldn't a back up alarm make more sense? Why reinvent the wheel. I also think that within a few years we will start to see the technology in the Mercedes E series moving to more affordable vehicles. These cars have sensors on them that will alert you when you are about to hit something, and go as far as applying the brake when an impending collision is sensed!