Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Making hybrids noisy

There is proposed legislation that will require hybrids to alert themselves to the blind. This is certainly a good thing for those who need to hear their environment in order to get around. Unfortunately, this measure may add to noise pollution and diminish the noise benefits of the cars. Since hybrids (and PEVs and other non-internal combustion engine cars) both reduce the noise of traffic and the localized air pollution from driving, an increase in the number of hybrids can greatly improve the sidewalk quality of life in busy commercial areas. Of course, if cars start beeping when approaching intersections, this potential quality of life will be diminished. The quality of life for those who don't get hit by a car will remain quite high, however.
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