Madness, thy name is Lotus

by Volker Weber

Lotus Engineering in Norfolk has been finding ways to make electric cars noisier, to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

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[Thanks, Nick]


Not mad at all. Most pedestrians dont look, and rely on hearing. Hence bikers (ones with engines, not ones in lycra), tend to idle through town making more noise than absolutely necessary. Once you've had a handful of suicide grannies launch themselves at you, you learn to keep the throttle open...

---* Bill

Bill Buchan, 2008-08-08

Actually, that wouldn't be enough for India.

Moritz Petersen, 2008-08-08

I would like my car to sound like the Jetson's please :)

Brian Baum, 2008-08-08

I agree, I don't think it is all that silly. A few times after ultimate frisbee games I've been standing talking to friends, when the driver of a hybrid (like a Prius) has had to honk at us to get out of the way! We did not even know the car was on. It is like digital camera adding a fake click noise so that you know the picture has been taken.

Alan Lepofsky, 2008-08-08

Yes, Alan is just highlighting the problem, it is indeed an issue

Jens-B. Augustiny, 2008-08-09

I think what struck me as mad about it was being aware of how much time, energy and effort was made to quieten electric motors (I could probably point you the way of some of the engineering docs) only to add back some noise at the end of the process.

I guess they prefer a car-type noise to an electric whine - it all comes down to aesthetics in the end!

Nick Daisley, 2008-08-11

Makes sense, at least to me.

Ever been to Zermatt? Where the only powered vehicles allowed are these electrical cars? You don't freakin' hear them, especially when streets are covered in snow. Having been almost run over by one, I embrace these engineering efforts.

Patrick Montavon, 2008-08-11

A blind woman was recently killed after being struck by an electric car here in Vancouver. I love silence, but we are programmed to respond to sound.

Andy Reimer, 2008-08-11

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