Lotus - lets have some fun

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by bwilson4web, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    These folks are trying to ride HR 5734 to a government mandated purchase of their "noise" system. They are just trying to curry favor and really don't care about the big picture. Regardless, they have issued a press release to multiple news outlets. So let's have some fun and share our comments with:

    Lotus Technology Makes Hybrid Cars Noisy - I4U News UK
    Lotus adds synthesised engine sound to dangerously quiet hybrid cars - Miscellaneous
    Lotus turns up the volume on hybrids - Latest Car News from 4Car
    Introducing the hybrid you can hear (so it won't run you over) - Features, Motoring - The Independent
    Greentech Media | Hybrids Gain a Voice
    Lotus fits speakers to electric cars to put the 'vroom' back into silent engines | Mail Online
    Prius Soon will Offer V8 Roar - U.S. News Rankings and Reviews
    Lotus Creates Artificial Engine Noise To Make Quiet Hybrids Safer
    Lotus 'Safe & Sound' system makes quiet vehicles audible | Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET - CNET Reviews
    Lotus gives hybrids a V8 soundtrack - Autoblog

    Remember these people only make money if HR 5734 is passed in the current form. The "media" that have repeated this nonsense lack the facts and data. So let's have some fun.

    Facts and data:

    • Prius has the same pedestrian accident rate as other cars (Dr. Hogan report)
    • No blind has ever been killed by a Prius
    • Adding noise to a Prius makes them exactly as dangerous at the cars that already kill 4,700 per year
    • Only 5 blind die per year and mostly from pickup trucks
    • 25 kids die each year under rear bumpers and exhaust pipes
    The accident source is attached as well as this photo from a backover accident from the April 2008 accident report:[​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Facts and data are a powerful argument and this is just another example of media echoing nonsense like the old CNW Marketing report. All it takes is posting a comment or sending a note to the editors with the facts and data. "Whack a mole" in real life ... enjoy the clubs I'm leaving in your hands!

    Bob Wilson
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    I've said this before on this issue, and I'll say it again.
    It is the driver's responsibility to look where he/she is going. Regardless of the vehicle type, if a driver runs over a pedestrian, it is the driver's fault for not looking where they were going. There have been many times in grocery store parking lots that I have walked by gas-powered cars (ICE) where I could not hear any engine sound at all. And guess what? I'm still here to type this because the drivers of those vehicles were looking where they were going and did not run me over. According to the law, it is ultimately the driver's responsibility to prevent the incident (by not running over people).
    .
    ...maybe we should require blind people to wear noise makers and strobe lights :D
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  3. BIGGDOGG

    BIGGDOGG New Member

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    It's not just the drivers responsibility, The pedestrians can't just walk into the middle of the street and expect traffic to stop for them. If you get hit by a car, it's not the make of the cars fault. It's either yours or the drivers, or both.
     
  4. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Obviously you've never been to NYC ... where it's ALWAYS the ped's fault :p
     
  5. carz89

    carz89 I study nuclear science...

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    Wow! Finally my suspicions are confirmed! I've always wondered about the pedestrian laws in NYC after witnessing many automobile-pedestrian altercations on TV shows and movies. So there really are laws about jaywalking? And I thought that was just a funny-sounding slang term that was never enforced. ;)
     
  6. FBear

    FBear Senior Member

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    If this is all the House of Representatives has to work on then as far as I am concerned they can all go home for recess permenantly. With the price of gas what it is and our illustrious President riding rough shod over the Constitution, while they worry about how much noise or no noise a Prius makes is absurd.
     
  7. jeffreykb

    jeffreykb Junior Member

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    -Has any organizations that represent the blind population made an official statement on the (potential) issue or the proposed requirement?

    -What if the majority of motorized vehicles were silent...Would a noise maker be the solution to such a potetial danger?
     
  8. donee

    donee New Member

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    Hi Jeffreykb,

    The fact that most cars make engine noise generally audible from the rear, and consequently as the car is moving away from a blind pedestrian is a hazard for the blind pedestrian - right now!

    Stand on the side of a 25 to 40 mph road, and listen to the cars go by. As they approach you will hear tire noise. Once they are within 10 feet or so (far to close to stop) you will begin to hear the engine noise. And after they pass, you will hear the exhaust noise. That exhaust noise can cover up noise from other approaching vehicles.
     
  9. fiddledee

    fiddledee New Member

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    This whole noise thing is stupid. I know it's politically incorrect to say this (buying a Prius is the ONLY politically correct thing I have done that I know of) but we provide means for handicapped folks to cope with the majority of the world: crosswalks which I pay for with my taxes, seeing eye dogs, etc. I mean, are they going to start putting toots and whistles on bicycles and skateboards too? I am always careful while driving to look out for stupid people ... most of whom can see, hear, etc.
    Also I decided that if this noise thing gets to be a big issue, I'm going to put a big white fin on my white Prius and somehow rig it so the Theme from "Jaws" comes on anytime it goes into stealth mode. Seems appropriate music for the "silent killer".
     
  10. Stivo

    Stivo New Member

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    I think most of you are taking this issue not serious enough.

    I live in switzerland, in a small little quiet village with very little traffic. I hardly ever have to wait to let a car go by as a pedestrian, so I just listen to see if there is anyone coming. And I am a bit scared there could be a prius coming I dont hear. I am not blind.
    I mean basically on low traffic streets with more pedestrians than cars it is a valid issue, not only for the blind. And I heard from a prius owner that returned it just because of having too much dangerous situations where pedestrians could not hear it.
    And that thing is designed so that the sound is outside, not inside.

    Even if you are a good enough driver to prevent all accidents with unsuspecting pedestrians, it will always be a stressful situation.
     
  11. okiebutnotfrommuskogee

    okiebutnotfrommuskogee Senior Member

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    So the Prius and some of the other hybrids are quiet. Get used to it, there are going to be a lot more one of these days. There is a particular shopping center here in Tulsa (The Farm Shopping Center), those of you familiar with this area probably know where it is. Driving through its narrow lanes with many cars backing out and elderly people (of which I am one) crossing on their way to the lunch special at the cafeteria is like running the gauntlet.

    I am always going slow when driving in that center so I am almost always on electric power and moving silently. The key to safety for every one is to be courteous, vigilant and watch for those back-up lights.

    If that stupid law passes, we could make a recording of a Dodge pickup with 6 cylinder Cummins diesel engine idling and play that through a speaker at the front of the car. That'll wake em up.
     
  12. nerfer

    nerfer A young senior member

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    I agree with stivo. It's not a big deal, just put a little hum-generator on the front so people outside can hear it. It's less obtrusive than other safety equipment like flashers or blinkers or brake lights or a horn.

    It would be less annoying to me as a Prius driver to have people wait for me to go by, than for me to have to suddenly stop because somebody walked in front of me, regardless of who has the right of way.

    People do rely on the sounds around them to navigate the streets, not just the blind. Obviously you should look both ways before going out on the street, but people are used to hearing traffic coming up.
    This is probably a most of an issue at speeds of 10-30 mph. Above that, the tire and wind noise is prevalent (and less likely to be in stealth) and pedestrians are generally more cautious on high-speed streets, speeds lower than that and there's plenty of reaction time.

    And yes, drivers in some cities are definitely more pedestrian friendly than others. Tourist towns in particular apparently enforce (or at least remind drivers) that pedestrians in a cross walk have the right of way, but that won't happen in the big cities. But in either case, a driver is not solely at fault if a kid runs out into the street from between parked cars.
     
  13. mrg

    mrg Member

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    What's next are they going to make all the shopping carts have noise makers? This could get huge, then they will need to go after golf carts. The list can go on and on.:fear:
     
  14. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Have you read the attachments to the first posting in this thread? I suspect not since your subsequent text makes no reference to them and displays a degree of ignorance and hubris that we can assume you are just lazy and not a troll:

    I'm seeing plenty of web traffic about it and in the USA we have bill in Congress about it. There has been one public hearing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.) There have also been hearings in Maryland. But I've also been involved.

    I drove 1,200 km, each way, to the NHTSA hearing June 23 in Washington DC. This included getting downtown, Washington DC hotel, $385, as well as other ordinary travel expenses. This was after having been turned down to present my charts that you can now find at:
    http://www.regulations.gov/
    Search: NHTSA-2008-0108

    All I got to do for my effort was ask questions during the discussion and you can read my trip report here.

    So about three weeks later, I drove another 1,200 km, each way, to Madison WI and HybridFest to gather petition signatures. These were used to petition Congress so "Hybrid electric owners get a fair seat at the table." So when someone from Switzerland claims "... you are taking this issue not serious enough," it suggests something about the poster.

    In our country, one of the first lessons taught in school, kindergarten, is how to cross streets. We teach our children to stop at the curb and look both ways. We do this because we love our children and want them to be safe as they grow up. Of course, Switzerland may be different.
    In our country, the average car travels about 15,000 miles per year. What is the average, annual mileage of cars in Switzerland.
    In our country, the Prius has the same pedestrian accident rate as ordinary cars. Individual owners are free to make their own decisions upon what they feel is most important. There may be someone who decided the Hummer is 'greener' than their Prius and traded in their Prius for a Hummer. There are no doubt former Prius owners around, we do see used Prius available on Ebay. What we don't have is a survey of former Prius owners to find out why they sold their Prius.

    If possible, could you have the Prius owner who sold his Prius because of the safety issue contact us or me? I would like to know more details including where the car was sold to track the subsequent owner's activity.

    I believe anyone who is driving less than 15,000 miles per year should consider selling the car to someone who will travel more than 15,000 miles per year. The reason is the Prius is made for the road, for travel. It really is a great car and should be in use, not 'driveway art.'
    It is not the noise maker that is the problem:
    [​IMG]
    This SUV backed up a 13% grade and ran over a kid in the taped area. The impact zone include the engine exhaust pipe, rear bumper and rear wheel. The driver could not see them and the engine noise from the exhaust pipe did not save the kid.

    Since you are not blind, do you notice anything interesting about the rear bumper? This is a test to find out if you really are sighted. Look very closely at the rear bumper.

    We absolutely agree that we are not perfect drivers. That is why we want a system that helps drivers avoid backing over children. Fortunately, the same system that protects children can also protect the blind, deaf, wheel-chair bound, those on crutches and other special pedestrians.

    We need an electronic 'safety zone' that lets the driver know these special pedestrians are in the area. I suppose we could extend the definition to visitors from Switzerland who do not look before crossing the street.

    Bob Wilson
     
  15. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Apparently we have another poster who failed to read the attachments of the first post in this thread. Probably not a troll, just lazy:
    It is your car and you are welcome to make it sound like whatever you want. Just a caution, Huntsville AL has a noise ordinance that is enforced.

    If it made the car safer, we would have seen that in the traffic accident statistics. Use the forum search for:

    ANALYSIS OF BLIND PEDESTRIAN DEATHS
    AND INJURIES FROM MOTOR VEHICLE CRASHES, 2002-2006

    Christopher Hogan, Ph.D
    Direct Research, LLC
    226 Glen Ave., SW
    Vienna, VA 22180
    [email protected]

    April 21, 2008

    Trot out your data and we'll take a look at it but "safety" is a false claim ... totally bogus.

    Bob Wilson
     
  16. Stivo

    Stivo New Member

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    I lost my post that ive written, so here is a bit a shorter version:

    First: I did not mean to attack you. I just felt (and not only from this thread) that posters were dismissing this too easily.

    Backing up:
    I fail to see the link. This is something different. But making no sound backing up still seems more dangerous than making sounds. And by your definition I am blind.

    In our country, one of the first lessons taught in school, kindergarten, is how to cross streets. We teach our children to stop at the curb and look both ways. We do this because we love our children and want them to be safe as they grow up. Of course, Switzerland may be different. <-- This is insulting. I may have been a bit lazy but I did not try to insult. Of course we do the same thing. But people (in general) are lazy and they learn by repetition: you look 1000 times, only one time comes something you do it less afterwards. I am talking about low traffic/low speed streets. The whole time I have been working on this post I have not seen a car moving.


    About the person which returned the prius: I dont know her personally, but I got the story from my dad which knows her well. Chances of her contacting you are slim.

    What about wildlife? A deer does not look both sides before it crosses the street.

    I think it is a valid issue (not only because of the blind) and will become more valid when more vehicles are quiet. Making artificial sounds would be an easy solution.

    Tagging everybody else seems to be a bit expensive. Could you please elaborate more on this idea.

    I am not saying every hybrid should have such a system tomorrow. I am in no way affiliated with lotus.
     
  17. KAR IDEA

    KAR IDEA Member

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    Ahem...it's the other way around. ;)
     
  18. jeffreykb

    jeffreykb Junior Member

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    I agree...but I would like to know if any organizations that represent the blind have made am official statement on the issue. If not, is it a "real" issue? I'm sure...the blind are quite capable of speaking for themselves.

    My other point...if all motorized vehicles made no significant noise while in motion, would a noise maker want to be added? Noise pollution is a problem also.
     
  19. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    No problem, I still have recent memories of those trips. We are not perfect drivers and it was double insulting after driving over 4,800 km to suggest that we think we are. There is a lot of hubris about hybrid electric owners and I am glad you came back.

    I didn't realize you would have difficulty with the web site "www.regulations.gov" but not every web site is well designed for universal access. What I would like to do is share these observations:

    • Prius has the same pedestrian accident rate as ordinary cars - Dr. Christopher Hogan studied the 5 years of available USA accident data covering all years the Prius has been on the road. If there were any higher risk from silent car operation, we would expect to see some bump but there is none.
    • Noisy back-over accidents - killed 25 kids in 2006, August Chidester April 13, 2008 report, but only 5 blind died, Dr. Christopher Hogan report. Sound from the engine exhaust did not save these kids, mostly pre-schoolers, who were run over in one case by their mother and others by family and neighbors. As Chidester points out, the driver didn't know the kids were there. That is the universal problem, drivers need help to identify and avoid special pedestrians.
    • HR 5734 mandates a design by the blind - not a performance based system that uses science and engineering to address the problems of special pedestrians. This fails to engage the best minds of American industry to study the problem and provide effective solutions.
    • Alert the driver, pedestrian and by-standers - I advocate a special keyfob, one reserved just for pre-school children, the blind, deaf, those on crutches and wheel-chairs and any other special pedestrians who need extra attention by the driver. Not only hybrids but most cars already have the receivers tied to the horn and lights and only need the software to respond to these special keyfobs.
    We need solutions to pedestrian-vehicle safety, not legislation of what already kills 4,700 Americans every year. To achieve this end, we need to engage the best minds of industry in fair and open competition. Unfortunately, Lotus has pandered to HR 5734 and offers exactly what we have today: sound emitting vehicles that already kill 4,700 pedestrians per year including 25 kids, mostly pre-school, and 5 bind.

    Bob Wilson

    ps. To help with the "www.regulations.gov" web site, I've tried to make a few links to documents that may answer your other questions:pps. Hybrid electric owners value to the lives of children and the blind higher than deer ... it is hubris to think otherwise.

    ppps. You repeated many of the misconceptions expressed in blind forums. But my attempts to engage in a dialog have met with limited success. Feel free to "cut-and-paste" my posting and source materials with them. "Talking past each other" instead of an open, free and frank discussion does no good and ultimately, will be a waste of time.
     
  20. Stivo

    Stivo New Member

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    Yeah that with the number of accidents is a good argument. I still think maybe it will not happen in america, but it could happen somewhere else.

    But I still dont see the link to the backing over accidents. Just because the noise does not stop them to happen does not mean that taking all the noise away makes it any better.

    Not only hybrids but most cars already have the receivers tied to the horn and lights and only need the software to respond to these special keyfobs. <-- I did not know that, never heard of it. Can I have a source for that? Some link with more info on this?
    Even if you do that: You drive around a city with some pre-school children, some wheelchairs and your horn goes on all the time?
    Also this pops into my head: If you have a device that tells you when you could endanger someone, you feel more safe during driving even though you are not. So in the end you pay less attention because you know if something is up the car will tell you.

    But what is your big problem with adding a noisemaker to hybrids? The price of the device? The noise pollution? They dont have to be as loud as normal cars, but just audible.
     
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