Electric Cars Too Quiet, To Become as Irritating as Cell Phones

01/27/2010 12:01 PM |

Electric cars are quiet like ninjas and ten times as deadly. But mainly, just superquiet. This study found that people can generally hear conventional cars from 28 feet away, but can only detect hybrid cars in battery mode at 7 feet—or one second—away. To prevent happy-go-lucky new hybrid owners from indiscriminately crushing cyclists and passersby, some models are now being outfitted with artificial motor noises to alert people of their presence.

Mechanical noises aren’t the only sounds available for download and application. “Cartones” are customizable sounds you can purchase for your eco-ride to let people know something heavy is heading their way. Some legal kinks—like debate over whether the sound should be playing all the time—still need to be ironed out before they can be made available to the public. Congress is currently working on a Pedestrian Safety Act that would set a minimum and maximum noise level for all motor vehicles.

We look forward to having a car that plays nothing but William Shatner covers (just watch the video below, ok? You won’t be sorry).

3 Comment

  • Love the idea and love the concept. My thought would be they are “Vroomtones” instead of Cartones. After all phones ring (ringtones) and cars vroom (vroomtones).
    Either way I want one that is classic Jetsons…….
    No way would I ever want my electric car to sound like a regular car. Gag

  • i feel like im probably not supposed to leave comments saying how awesome it is that my sister wrote this but ill risk it and tell you it’s incredably awesome my sister wrote this.

  • Robbie- I totally agree, “cartones” is about as clunky a word as you can get. When they start making Jetsons vroomtone I’ll think of you.

    Amberpants- I love you!