What some say may be a benefit others view as hazard. As electric vehicles (EVs) gain traction in the transforming automotive environment, much question has been raised about the hazard of such a quiet vehicle on the road. This is largely due to pedestrians, and more specifically visually impaired individuals, not being able to hear an EV approach. Because of the issues that arose as EVs became more prevalent, they are now required to emit sounds at low speeds. However, at higher speeds when on highways EVs are not required to emit any sounds which can be dangerous when drivers are accustomed to hearing vehicles approach.
Moving forward, we are all curious to see how roads and the vehicles on them transform transportation. Will there no longer be combustion engines and just EVs? Only time will tell. However, as this space continues to evolve, I have a few questions that I think are important to think about:
· Would the government have excess funds from not needing to build hundreds of miles of sound barriers next to highways? If so, how should this money be allocated to maintain a comfortable and safe environment?
· Will campuses need to implement new laws governing sounds emitted from EVs if campus commuting transforms into self-driving EV transportation? If so, what is the appropriate solution?
· Because students wear headphones and don’t pay attention as they assume vehicles will stop for them, what is an appropriate solution to keeping students safe who can't hear vehicles coming?
· What kinds of further laws can be implemented to maintain pedestrian safety in cities and vehicle safety on highways where EVs cannot be heard when approaching?