Automakers, with a push from advocates for the blind, have agreed to a proposal that would create artificial sounds for what are now near-silent electric vehicles. The increased audio would alert blind -- and, for that matter, sighted -- pedestrians as to the vehicle's whereabouts.
According to the proposal, federal auto-safety regulators would design a minimum sound rule for EVs over the next 18 months. The automatic sound would have to activate automatically, and the standards would be phased in by regulators and automakers over three years.
Best of all, only automakers and dealers would have the ability to alter the sounds. That means our greatest fear -- having to listen to a Tesla Roadster accelerate past us to the sound of The Black Eyed Peas, ringtone-style -- is unlikely to become a reality.