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PHOTO CAPTION: Fisker Karma electric hybrid purportedly simulates sound of Formula One car.

Electric Cars Set to Chirp, Bruup and Swoosh for Safety

New law directs Secretary of Transportation to study and establish a motor vehicle safety standard that alerts blind and other pedestrians of a motor vehicle’s operation.

Published: 06-Jan-2011

Here at Family Car Guide, we were all atwitter at the news late last month that the Senate and House both passed the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010. Now it awaits President Barack Obama’s signature before going into law.

In essence, this law directs the Secretary of Transportation to study and establish a motor vehicle safety standard that provides blind and other pedestrians of a motor vehicle’s operation.

That means electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, extended-range hybrid electrics like the Chevrolet Volt, full parallel hybrids like the Kia Optima Hybrid and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, and extended-range all-electric like the Fisker Karma will have to have some sort of audible warning system in place with minimum sound levels – and it will have to be automatic, not driver-activated or optional equipment.

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