Mar 11

US law says the Volt, other EVs and hybrids, must emit more sound

 

Although electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt are prized for their nearly silent operation, they have been deemed too quiet, and will need to have active pedestrian alert systems installed in coming years.

So says President Obama who on Jan. 4 signed into law S841, the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010, after it was unanimously approved by the Senate.

Although details must be worked out, Public Law No: 111-373 will mandate EVs and hybrids sold in the U.S. to be equipped with some form of device or apparatus that will continually emit a certain minimum sound at lower vehicle speeds, and shut off automatically as speeds increase.



To protect pedestrians, bicyclists, and others considered vulnerable, EVs and hybrids
will eventually be required to emit some kind of always-on sound.

According to Jose Ucles, a spokesman for the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), definitive regulations could take four-and-a-half years before being imposed, more or less.

The next step is to initiate “rulemaking” over the following 18 months, Ucles said, and then a “final rule” will come within three years or so after that.

The process is not on a strict deadline, Ucles said. It has flexibility built in to allow for a proper study to further quantify the need for sound from EVs and hybrids, additional feedback to be given as required, and the results analyzed.

For the time being, Chevrolet Volts, which already come equipped with a warning system, will remain as they are.

“Nothing is going to change immediately,” said GM Spokesman Rob Peterson, until new rules are clear. “When it is required, we will obviously comply with that.”

Some background

Actually, voluntary compliance by some automakers is already causing issues. Both the Nissan LEAF and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid have stalled delivery to the UK and U.S. respectively, in anticipation of rules for these markets.

Citing the conflict, one EV-favoring editorial has already decried the increasing “absurdity” of the situation, as the question over just how dangerous silent cars might be is debated in regions around the world.

And sure enough, in a sense the shakeout could appear absurd as lawmakers in various countries come to differing conclusions about the threat, real or imagined.

To give a voice to those in the U.S. who say they have the most to gain or lose, we called the group most responsible for the new law, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB).

“Yes, it was us,” said NFB Director of Public Relations, Chris Danielson of the initial move to get legislators and automakers to consider the needs of the advocacy group.

The ball got rolling in 2003, Danielson said, when blind people began noticing it was nearly impossible to hear when hybrids were passing or approaching at lower speeds.

Knowing they would be asking for a precedent, Danielson said they studied and debated the issues as well as they could for the first couple of years.

“We knew there would be concerns,” Danielson said, “that it might be controversial.”

At one point in their fact-finding journey, they invited alternative energy transportation industry stakeholders to offer their views. To that particular meeting, Danielson said, unfortunately few showed up.



Even when no one is near a rolling EV or hybrid, they will have to continually make precautionary sounds, at least at lower speeds. The U.S. DOT calls distracted driving an “epidemic,” and concerns remain that drivers may not always be as vigilant as needed.

Further along the way, the NFB funded research that added weight to its argument.

“Dr. Lawrence Rosenblum, a perceptual psychologist at the University of California at Riverside, did conduct studies in which he asked subjects to listen to recordings of hybrid vehicles and press a button indicating which direction they thought the vehicle was approaching from,” Danielson said in a follow-up e-mail, “I believe that he also conducted experiments with an actual vehicle in a parking lot. He concluded that a pedestrian may have only a second between hearing a hybrid vehicle and being struck by it – not enough time to react and change course, in other words.”

Even people who can see have had near-miss experiences – including one lawmaker – who reportedly was almost run over by an unheard hybrid outside a grocery store.

In time, NHTSA also collected “statistically significant” data showing a higher incidence of hybrid/pedestrian collisions in states from which the information was available.

And beyond this, Danielson said anecdotal evidence has been adding up for years.

He recounted the story of one blind woman who had her foot run over, another person who was saved only by his guide dog, another whose white walking cane was crushed by a hybrid he could not hear.

“Until blind people start to get run over should nothing be done about it?” Danielson asked.

The NFB’s position is it likes quiet cars too, Danielson said, but essentially silent ones are asking for trouble.

The idea the NFB has since come to support, he said, is not only to protect the blind, but anyone who might be endangered.

This assertion has also been repeated by NHTSA.

Measures toward reconciliation

Obviously, along the way some people disagreed with mandating sound emitters, and proposed alternatives.

One suggestion was that the problem was not that cars were too quiet, but that suburban and urban environments are too loud.

Dodging the question of whether this could have been a case of the absurd fighting “absurdity,” and regardless whether there’s truth to it or not, in any case there is little chance of making an entire city quieter.

And even in quiet environments, Danielson said, problems can still happen.

Others have suggested implementing transponders to alert blind people.

Not only would he not want to have to carry an extra device at all times, Danielson said, it would do nothing to answer the critical question about a moving EV or hybrid answered best by hearing it: “How far away is it, which way is it traveling, and how fast?”

GM supports the concerns of the blind. You may have seen this video last November in an article about the Volt’s warning system. Although GM tried, it appears remedies will be stronger still.

In the course of making its case known, the NFB gained support from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers.

Notwithstanding earlier non-participation, automakers have since been empathetic.

Initially, GM worked with the NFB, and designed the Volt’s warning system to alert pedestrians, and this was thought to be enough.

But the NFB – and the U.S. Congress and Senate – thought more needed to be done.

In 2008, H.R. 741 was introduced by Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), and co-sponsored by 238 fellow members of Congress to propose making always-on sounds from otherwise silent cars mandatory.

It went no where.

In 2009, similar legislation sponsored by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) with a total of 29 co-sponsors did make it through, was unanimously approved, and signed by the president.

Some additional details

The law does not apply to internal combustion engine vehicles, even if they are very quiet.

Exactly how much sound should be required from EVs and hybrids, what the tone should be, at what point it could be shut off, and related issues are to be studied.

Unknown is at what speed the car’s natural sounds from wind noise, rolling tires, etc. would be enough to be heard. It is expected pedestrian warning systems could be automatically switched off, say, at highway speeds, or speeds approaching them.

It is not specified whether the sounds come from a speaker, or some other device.

Whatever they come up with, it will be required to be tamper resistant.

Enforcement would likely be at the state level, so, for example, if an owner figured out how to deactivate the system, varying fines or penalties would be imposed state by state.

We do not know if a universal system would be mandated, or carmakers could come up with different solutions to satisfy a standard.

Also unknown is whether first-generation EVs and hybrids would be grandfathered in, or owners would be required to retroactively install pedestrian warning systems.

It is at least somewhat ironic that the law was passed and only now will formal studies be conducted to determine how much sound will be enough to make EVs and hybrids safer.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 11th, 2011 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 207


  1. 1
    pavers123

    +33

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    pavers123
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (6:03 am)

    Yet another reason to try and squeeze in the purchase of a 2011 model while you still can.

    All this work to do with balancing the budget, and getting us out of debt, but ***THIS*** is what they come up with?

    We have to, we MUST, vote these congressional clowns out of office in the next election. If you’re voting for an incumbent, you’re a part of the problem, not the solution.


  2. 2
    nasaman

    +23

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nasaman
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (6:29 am)

    What I find interesting is that the NFB and others vocally promoting this legislation have singled out EVs and hybrids. Why? Because many new cars have begun employing sound deadening techniques that are highly effective at speeds up to ~30mph, with the result that even many new ICE cars are inaudible or barely audible at low speeds, and are therefore just as much a threat to pedestrians and bicyclists as an EV!

    PS: Jeff, you’ve hit another home run with this ‘hot’ topic! And the Volt pictures at Times Square and the drive through a forest are both gorgeous!


  3. 3
    Jeff Cobb

    +7

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jeff Cobb
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (6:41 am)

    nasaman,

    Thanks nasaman. Tried to cover the bases. I liked those pictures too. -Jeff


  4. 4
    Raymondjram

    -10

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Raymondjram
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (6:46 am)

    (click to show comment)


  5. 5
    Jeff Cobb

    +13

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jeff Cobb
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (6:55 am)

    Raymondjram,

    Seriously, Danielson did say his understanding of the law (and what NFB thought was reasonable) was that the law should attempt to require the least intrusive sound found to be necessary.


  6. 6
    Rashiid Amul

    +9

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Rashiid Amul
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (6:57 am)

    So when this happens, there will be someone who can figure out how to shut it off.
    This is beyond stupid. Cure blindness and everyone will be happy.


  7. 7
    Rashiid Amul

    +20

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Rashiid Amul
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (7:01 am)

    From the article
    “Until blind people start to get run over should nothing be done about it?” Danielson asked.

    People who are not blind get run over.
    What should we do about stupidity? Make a law against that too?


  8. 8
    Ken

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Ken
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (7:50 am)

    This is akin to the laws governing early automobiles, or horseless carriages. Next EV owners when coming to an intersection will have to get out of their cars and fire a shotgun in the air so as not to scare anyone.


  9. 9
    Eco_Turbo

    +16

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Eco_Turbo
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (7:58 am)

    They should hurry and decide at what speed these devices will come on. I need to practice turning into my driveway without going below that speed!


  10. 10
    Dan Petit

    +8

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (8:24 am)

    Just a quick note before leaving in five minutes for a 7:30 appointment.

    It may be that we have the cart before the horse.

    I mentioned a year ago about my idea of a sophisticated electronic receiving device in a cane that would sense from which direction and speed a silent vehicle was coming from. By vibrating a specifically custom handle (held only one way in the hand), both in sensitivity on two or three sides of the handle as to which direction and increasing the intensity and the frequency a cellphone digital signal in a silent vehicle was coming from.
    Simple rates of speed and direction easily triggered by registered cell phones for ICE vehicles that are quiet as well. The three sides in the handle vibrating are left, right, and behind.

    But apparently, few if any affected parties had taken note.

    c’mon folks, it is time to start thinking “out of the box”.

    /for me, I am frequently surprised when a Prius is backing out of the parking space at the library,
    and, always recalling the “run away” concerns, I most certainly understand the extremely valid worries of the blind.

    This will work, and far better than anyone elses’ idea.

    gotta go. have a great day everyone!!


  11. 11
    MichaelH

    +8

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MichaelH
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (8:33 am)

    Dan Petit: I mentioned a year ago about my idea of a sophisticated electronic receiving device in a cane that would sense from which direction and speed a silent vehicle was coming from. By vibrating a specifically custom handle (held only one way in the hand), both in sensitivity on two or three sides of the handle as to which direction and increasing the intensity and the frequency.
    Triggered by registered cell phones for ICE vehicles that are quiet as well.

    But apparently, few if any affected parties had taken note.

    The effected party took note. The article said, “Others have suggested implementing transponders to alert blind people.Not only would he not want to have to carry an extra device at all times, Danielson said, it would do nothing to answer the critical question about a moving EV or hybrid answered best by hearing it: ‘How far away is it, which way is it traveling, and how fast?’”

    Dan Petit: It may be that we have the cart before the horse.

    Again, from the article, “It is at least somewhat ironic that the law was passed and only now will formal studies be conducted to determine how much sound will be enough to make EVs and hybrids safer”

    We have a lot of laws like that. I’m not sure “irony” is the best descriptor, “absurd” comes to mind.


  12. 12
    Dave K.

    +9

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (8:36 am)

    Ken: This is akin to the laws governing early automobiles, or horseless carriages.

    I had a comment in mind before seeing your message Ken. You’re right. Is anyone else getting the feeling that Uncle Sam is over stepping their power over U.S. citizens? My Volt is quiet. One of the reasons I bought it is because it is quiet. I realize it is quiet and am extra aware of pedestrians as I drive. My son is disabled and I coach a disabled Little League team. I connect with the disabled and realize they need assistance in many areas. How many times have you seen a person with a red tip cane run out into the street from in between parked cars? Be honest now.

    120 years ago many American’s rode on horseback. Did we have a tax funded government agency studying the noise level of a horse clip-clop? Or how fast a horse is able to brake. Or if a hungry horse is safe to ride? I’m sure that horses and people came into physical contact from time to time. And they worked things out between themselves.

    The $7500 tax credit is not government money. It’s our money which was taken from our pay checks pretty much by force. Is the government tax credit a license for them to control the sound level of a vehicle General Motors produces. If general Motors makes a Chevrolet, or a Buick, or a Cadillac that is very quiet. Then We The People should make the call if buying one is worth the risk of driving one.

    Has the ever improving braking system on newer cars been factored into the decision to add a sound maker to quiet cars? Newer models do stop much quicker than cars of 20 years ago.

    The bottom line, if an auto maker can make a silent car and people want a silent car to drive. Get the heck out of the way Uncle Sam. And save us a few tax dollars by directing your sound police toward more noble goals.

    =D-Volt


  13. 13
    Jim I

    +31

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim I
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (8:43 am)

    I think I said this about two years ago, when we discussed this topic at length. I want my car to either have the voice of:

    Mr. T that says, “Get Out The Way, FOOL!!!!”

    Or

    Darth Vader that says, “It Is Your Destiny To Die, If You Walk In Front Of My Transport…”. This would have to be followed by the breathing sound, of course.

    I did find this statement interesting, however: “Not only would he not want to have to carry an extra device at all times, Danielson said, it would do nothing to answer the critical question about a moving EV or hybrid answered best by hearing it: “How far away is it, which way is it traveling, and how fast?””

    So by all means, we should not inconvenience the people that want this, but everyone else in the world. I am sure that GM engineers could come up with a device that would meet the needs of those affected, but they would not want that.

    When did it come to pass that the minority rules????

    I will probably get blasted for my insensitivity, but lets get real here. What is next? Will we all have to put flashing lights on our cars, so that the idiots with the ipods stuck in their ears can safely listen to their music and not get run over by us evil Volt drivers?????

    I am a true believer in personal responsibility and common sense, and this “just ain’t it”…..

    JMHO


  14. 14
    hamchief

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    hamchief
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (8:53 am)

    Years ago when I had my first EV inspected, I hit the inspector as I backed out. There’s a case of non-vigilance on my and the inspector’s part.

    BTW: Remember when it was called “noise pollution”? I thought we wanted LESS.


  15. 15
    kdawg

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (9:05 am)

    Just crank your radio & leave the windows down :)

    Seriously; I guess I wouldn’t really care if there was a say a ~20db sound coming from my car, if I can’t hear it in the cabin. I don’t spend too much time walking around moving cars, and I barely hear cars now in my home. Innercity dwellers may complain, but I think, as the article stated, the natural noise of the city is loud anyway, and will make a small sound coming from a car a non-issue.

    I think the hardest part will be coming up w/a standard sound that all mfg’s agree on.


  16. 16
    kdawg

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (9:09 am)

    Jim I,

    I kinda agree on some of your points, and originally was thinking the same way, but after thinking about it more, a small noise isn’t that big of deal if its going to save lives. Its not just the blind, I notice children usually hear my car coming before they see it. And for some reason, kids don’t use sidewalks anymore.. must not be cool.


  17. 17
    kdawg

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (9:12 am)

    Dave K.,

    To me it comes down to the decibel level and tone(s) of the sound before I’ll consider it pollution. I’m sure all of us right now have some horrible sound in our heads, but i’ll hold judgement to I see what they come up with.


  18. 18
    gwmort

    +18

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    gwmort
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (9:15 am)

    I think the absurd thing is the law is not directed at the problem, but the power source of the car.

    If the problem is “quiet cars are dangerous to pedestrians” then the solution should address all quiet cars and set a specific standard for all cars to meet. This almost appears as if there is some incredibly well funded lobby with a vested interest in disparaging non-oil burning cars…oh wait.


  19. 19
    Dave K.

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (9:24 am)

    kdawg: see what they come up with.

    Do you really want to hand another right away to the faceless “they”? I’m sure bicycles will need a safety warble sound alert. Don’t forget personal watercraft. Para glider enthusiasts will need wrist watch sound emitters so they won’t land on pedestrians.

    Let’s stand strong for NO NOISE MAKERS on cars. Or pay the price with other quiet luxuries we partake in. Think my statements are an overreaction? Are you willing to find out you’re wrong and have to way to reverse course?

    How about a Phil Collins “have look at me now” sound loop? Or would the Light Sword swoosh from Star Wars be better? Let’s see what THEY like.

    NPNS


  20. 20
    jeffhre

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    jeffhre
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (9:45 am)

    Where I am living now is very quiet at night. It’s so quiet that the ticking of clocks seems like a drum concert accompanied by the swooshing sounds of ocean and wind (the pilot flame for an NG heater) I suppose if ICE noises don’t currently bother me in this situation, then the noises “they” mandate won’t make much difference. And I’m not too concerned with what “they” will like in terms of sound choices, since I will eventually change it. I’ve always favored the “Jetsons” car sound.

    Dave K.: How about a Phil Collins “have look at me now” sound loop? Or would the Light Sword swoosh from Star Wars be better? Let’s see what THEY like.


  21. 21
    Mark Z

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Mark Z
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:14 am)

    At the Burbank EV rally a Mini-E was starting to move in the parking lot and some of the people noticed that my back was turned to the moving car. It was their comments to “look out” that got my attention. Being a rally, would I have been able to notice if all the EV’s were making noise? I still better be able to hear the verbal warning.

    Having the backup camera on the Volt gives me the best opportunity to help save someone from a low speed incident. I once hit my father when backing up an El Camino when we were moving furniture. A horrible incident that crushed his knee when he was 65. The top surgeon for the Rams football team took bone from the hip and rebuilt the knee to allow my father to ski. Until his death at 91, that knee worked better than his other one and he skied until his late 80′s. Believe me, hitting someone when backing up is my greatest concern and I would not want to rely on sound devices alone. Deaf people can’t tell the difference between ICE and EV. The blind need help, especially when cars backup, as it is harder for the driver to see anyone who is behind the car.

    I would prefer a continuous sound when backing up and a user selectable engine sound when moving forward. The current pedestrian horn on the Volt is not something I want use continuously in a mall parking lot, but having some noise that helps the parking lot shopper know that the car is near would help if the same device was on all cars.

    What sound? Exhaust rumble at the rear for backup. An engine purr at the front for forward motion.

    The European Volt has it solved. Those drivers can start up the ICE anytime for safety!


  22. 22
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:19 am)

    LauraM and I had an exchange on this subject a couple of days ago:

    “Climate issues aside, EVs offer real urban pollution mitigation; including external noise. This isn’t often considered, but try to imagine a future city with half the racket. This would have direct positive health consequences, in terms of lowered stress and blood pressures.

    LauraM: Reducing noise pollution would be great. But weren’t they talking about installing some sort of noise maker so that blind people could tell when a car’s coming?

    “Yes — at low speeds (tire and aerodynamic noise are considered loud enough at higher speeds). Sound could be directed from the front corners, where it would be effective for that purpose without sending sound in all directions (Will manufacturers do this? Who knows?). Engine noise is continuous, covers similar portions of the audio band (so that it reinforces itself), and many more vehicles will produce it than not, for many many years.

    LauraM: But in most cities, most driving is done at low speeds. And it would almost have to be continuous if it’s going to warn people.

    “Most of the sounds being considered are intermittent: “chirp … chirp … chirp …” They are also relatively quiet (compared to an ICE car, especially when it’s starting off from a light).

    “Engine sound fans out in front of the car almost 180 degrees, and from the back 180 degrees (from the exhaust), for coverage which is nearly uniform; meanwhile, the EV blind-alert sound is actually needed over maybe 30 degrees to a side, angled slightly forward. It’s hard to justify an omnidirectional emission pattern for this purpose; by the time the car has passed by, an alert is too late. If a car is not close, an alert is premature. If this kind of directed sound is not mandated (by the time electric cars reach a density where sound emissions are a concern), I hope that manufacturers will have the sense to lobby for it (I think the cities will be right in there with them).

    “While annoying, the blind-alert sounds tend to be very narrow in audio frequency; differences among manufacturers will result in a cacophony of tones, but at different points on the audible scale; so that they won’t have quite the tendency to reinforce each other into today’s ‘highway roar.’”

    LauraM: Honestly? That sounds awful. I’m used to the roar. I don’t even hear it anymore when I’m not paying attention. Sure, I’d love to get rid of it. But a cacophony of different alarms could be a lot worse, IMHO.

    Looks like Laura was right. :-(

    Ironically, the ‘noise of the city’ which makes the noisemaker necessary in the first place is primarily due to the noises made … by cars.

    Once Government finds the solution which makes the least sense, Heaven and Earth cannot prevail against it. We’re just going to have to live with it, somehow.


  23. 23
    flmark

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    flmark
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:24 am)

    While I am disappointed, I felt this was pretty much inevitable. I love the silence of my hybrids and will love the silence of the new Volt when I get it- before this takes effect. However…

    One time, I was backing out of a parking space while the people next to me were just getting into their car. I scared the crap out of the guy as my car started in motion. I was very aware that even a few inch misstep on his part could be disastrous. And this was a guy without a hearing or seeing disability. After electric vehicles become the norm, people will start watching out for them. Until then, this legislation is probably not that bad of an idea. I just hope ‘unobtrusive’ remains the watchword.


  24. 24
    N Riley

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:24 am)

    The problem with all of this is that we, the consumers, will have little to no input in this matter. It will be decided primarily by government and special interests. Today, this is the way things are done in the U.S. The auto industry will be involved, but not much in the direction of decision making. They will have little control over the rules and regulations that are put together behind closed doors in D.C. It makes you wonder: Just how much control does a person have over their own life anymore?


  25. 25
    CorvetteGuy

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CorvetteGuy
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:25 am)

    Jim I: I think I said this about two years ago, when we discussed this topic at length.

    Yes, this was a fun topic and we threw out a lot of great ideas. Apparently to ‘deaf ears’… Get it?!

    Whatever they add to the car should be programmable with your favorite sounds:
    > The Theme from JAWS
    > George Jetson’s car sound
    > Luke Skywalker’s hovercar sound
    > Playing cards stuck in the bicycle spokes
    > etc…

    Of course, the cheapest solution is to just roll down the windows and crank up the BOSE speakers! Problem solved.


  26. 26
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:33 am)

    Though we will soon have sound mandated upon us, there is no reason why it cannot be limited in it’s dispersion. Here’s where adding a soundmaker of some kind is an advantage; since it’s emission field can be precisely tailored. As I noted above:

    Jackson: Engine sound fans out in front of the car almost 180 degrees, and from the back 180 degrees (from the exhaust), for coverage which is nearly uniform; meanwhile, the EV blind-alert sound is actually needed over maybe 30 degrees to a side, angled slightly forward. It’s hard to justify an omnidirectional emission pattern for this purpose; by the time the car has passed by, an alert is too late. If a car is not close, an alert is premature.

    Mark Z: The blind need help, especially when cars backup, as it is harder for the driver to see anyone who is behind the car.

    Good point. I’ll amend my original “directional sound” position to include a backup sound (which doesn’t act when the car is moving forward). I just hope it isn’t that awful OSHA

    BEEP … BEEP … BEEP …


  27. 27
    N Riley

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:35 am)

    I like the idea of an engine sound coming from the front of the car. I do not like the sound the Volt was making in the video. It is a terrible sound and I would not use it if it was driver selectable. Having multiple sounds to choose from is the best solution, in my opinion, if we are to have it mandated to require a sound output. I agree with many here that it should not be limited to just hybrids and EVs.


  28. 28
    Jackson

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:41 am)

    Not all noticeable sounds are obtrusive or annoying. There is a kind of basso clicking annunciator carried by a few emergency vehicles which grabs your attention, but doesn’t hurt your ears (felt as much as heard). Maybe it’s time for GM to call Amar Bose again …


  29. 29
    Noel Park

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:42 am)

    gwmort: This almost appears as if there is some incredibly well funded lobby with a vested interest in disparaging non-oil burning cars…oh wait.

    #18

    Gee, you think? +1


  30. 30
    Noel Park

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:47 am)

    CorvetteGuy: Whatever they add to the car should be programmable with your favorite sounds:

    #25

    Sound of a Corvette C6R at 195 mph down the Mulsanne straight.


  31. 31
    N Riley

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:48 am)

    Noel Park,

    gwmort and you may be correct, but remember that not all wood piles contain snakes.


  32. 32
    Noel Park

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:51 am)

    I wonder if it will turn off when the “range extender” starts up?

    Anyway, I have whined a lot about the penalties paid by “early adopters”, but pavers123 got it right at #1. Avoiding this is one big benefit to buying an early Volt, LOL.


  33. 33
    Dave K.

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:53 am)

    Noel Park: Sound of a Corvette C6R at 195 mph down the Mulsanne straight.

    Here’s a quick one… http://www.myspace.com/video/freddy-four-fingerz/fastest-car-ever-corvette/37115411


  34. 34
    Noel Park

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:54 am)

    BTW, I have made it no secret here that I am no fan of Japanese cars. Nevertheless, my heart goes out to our poor neighbors in Japan in the face of the devastating earthquake/tsunami event of yesterday. Did anyone see the live coverage on CNN of the tsunami coming ashore? It was one of the most frightening things I have ever seen. No science fiction/horror film could top that.


  35. 35
    DonC

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:56 am)

    Dave K.: Is anyone else getting the feeling that Uncle Sam is over stepping their power over U.S. citizens?

    Whenever the Senate passes something unanimously you KNOW it’s going to be either very very good or very very stupid. In this case it strikes me as the latter, not because I like the idea of running over deaf people but because it has downsides and it’s unclear if there are any upsides.


  36. 36
    Jackson

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:56 am)

    CorvetteGuy: Whatever they add to the car should be programmable with your favorite sounds:
    > The Theme from JAWS
    > George Jetson’s car sound
    > Luke Skywalker’s hovercar sound
    > Playing cards stuck in the bicycle spokes
    > etc…

    Downloading Ringtones is so-o-o-o last century. The new hotness will be downloading Car Tones! (Tip: Avoid high school parking lots at 3:00pm).

    Imagine, if you can, the unintended consequences:

    Woman: “Officer! The bank robbers just left a minute ago!”

    Officer: “Did you see the escape vehicle, Ma’am?”

    Woman: “No … but it was making pig-snorting noises.”

    Officer (shouting over his shoulder): “Call the Chief, Louie! It’s the Bacon Bandits again!!


  37. 37
    kdawg

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:58 am)

    Dave K.: Do you really want to hand another right away to the faceless “they”? I’m sure bicycles will need a safety warble sound alert. Don’t forget personal watercraft. Para glider enthusiasts will need wrist watch sound emitters so they won’t land on pedestrians. Let’s stand strong for NO NOISE MAKERS on cars. Or pay the price with other quiet luxuries we partake in. Think my statements are an overreaction? Are you willing to find out you’re wrong and have to way to reverse course?How about a Phil Collins “have look at me now” sound loop? Or would the Light Sword swoosh from Star Wars be better? Let’s see what THEY like.NPNS

    Like I said, I’ll hold judgment of the sound till I hear it, but I don’t think I’m giving up any rights. I don’t remember silence in the Constitution; and cars make noise now anyway. The cars I hear that bother me are the ones bassing, or with holes in their mufflers. The sound of a normal ICE is very quiet IMO. If they duplicate this, or something similiar, I wont mind.


  38. 38
    Noel Park

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:58 am)

    N Riley: gwmort and you may be correct, but remember that not all wood piles contain snakes.

    #31

    Don’t forget the Black Widow spiders, LOL. +1

    A good friend of mine always says not to invent a conspiracy theory to explain something which can be explained by simple incompetence. It’s sure fun though.


  39. 39
    Noel Park

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:01 am)

    CNN just showed a helicopter shot of a whole row of what look like Prii crushed by mud and debris from the tsunami. It’s enough to make you stop and think for sure.


  40. 40
    Jackson

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:06 am)

    Noel Park: CNN just showed a helicopter shot of a whole row of what look like Prii crushed by mud and debris from the tsunami.

    Poor John-boy must be devastated. :-P

    But seriously. We can talk all we want about Man’s impact on the environment; but when Geology clears it’s throat, all we can do is prepare to listen.


  41. 41
    Dan Petit

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:17 am)

    MichaelH,

    Why must there all too often only be an exclusive legislated answer first, then study the impact of the legislation later.

    There is an ever increasing distance between excessive legislation and practical solution, that the excessive legislation threatens to keep at least part of the good solutions suppressed.

    A vehicular noise of some kind is not an expensive thing to do whatsoever. But incomplete answers via legislation only by non-technically-minded legislators isn’t enough. What if you have a speeder? In a school zone?

    We are all at risk but for the quiet of electrification, not just the blind.

    I was thinking as I was going to this mornings appointment that in this case, with such a device as I had described above, that the blind would be able to sense the danger before the sighted would. That would be the relevant irony after all.

    So, there are some technical ideas that might somehow be necessary possibly for all of us.


  42. 42
    N Riley

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:21 am)

    DonC: Whenever the Senate passes something unanimously you KNOW it’s going to be either very very good or very very stupid. In this case it strikes me as the latter, not because I like the idea of running over deaf people but because it has downsides and it’s unclear if there are any upsides.

    When laws are passed like this one, it is just “feel good legislation” . IMO that is what happened here. No one in the Senate wanted to painted with a nay vote when it would be considered voting against the disabled. This is the type of action we have come to expect from our representatives. Not very encouraging for the future. Term limits are still the best solution and short terms at that.


  43. 43
    bitguru

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    bitguru
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:21 am)

    I’m all for pedestrian safety, but there has got to be a better way than the cacophonication of our roadways.


  44. 44
    N Riley

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:23 am)

    Jackson,

    It is hard to make a comment when I am laughing so damn hard at your comment. LOL, LOL, etc. Pig-snorting, indeed…..


  45. 45
    LauraM

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:31 am)

    Jackson: Ironically, the ‘noise of the city’ which makes the noisemaker necessary in the first place is primarily due to the noises made … by cars.

    Once Government finds the solution which makes the least sense, Heaven and Earth cannot prevail against it. We’re just going to have to live with it, somehow.

    In fairness, cities do have a lot of other noises that aren’t due to engine noise. Construction, horns honking, alarms, people talking, people playing music, Etc.


  46. 46
    LauraM

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:33 am)

    Rashiid Amul: So when this happens, there will be someone who can figure out how to shut it off.
    This is beyond stupid. Cure blindness and everyone will be happy.

    I wouldn’t be so sure about that. The deaf community is very anti-cochlear implants.


  47. 47
    LauraM

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:35 am)

    kdawg: Like I said, I’ll hold judgment of the sound till I hear it, but I don’t think I’m giving up any rights. I don’t remember silence in the Constitution; and cars make noise now anyway. The cars I hear that bother me are the ones bassing, or with holes in their mufflers. The sound of a normal ICE is very quiet IMO. If they duplicate this, or something similiar, I wont mind.

    Driving is a privilege. Not a right. Which is why they can require you to have a driver’s license.

    I’m fine with them duplicating the sound of an ICE. I am not fine with them requiring some sort of alarm sound.


  48. 48
    N Riley

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:39 am)

    #41 Dan Petit”

    “I was thinking as I was going to this mornings appointment that in this case, with such a device as I had described above, that the blind would be able to sense the danger before the sighted would. That would be the relevant irony after all.”

    —————————–

    I know you have put a lot of thought into your solution and it seems pretty good on the surface. But, what happens when a blind person with your enabled cane senses multiple cars coming from multiple directions like at an intersection? I see some problems that will take a lot of work to resolve and training by the blind person to be able to make a decision as to walk or not walk across the street.

    Would blind people be willing to put themselves through such training, especially if it is time consuming, whereas they could put everyone else to having to purchase a mandated sounding mechanism installed on all vehicles? Most would probably say let the other person bear the cost and responsibility of providing for their safety. Not that I am putting blind and other disabled people down because I believe that the vast majority of us other non-disabled people would make the same decision. It is just human nature to do that.

    I agree that congress and the President acted too hastily without taking time to study the consequences of their new law. Nothing unusual there, is it? I certainly do not have all the answers and that is why we should have studied it more before acting in such haste. And should require the law to affect all vehicles whether hybrid, EV, EVREV, ICE or human locomotion devices such as bicycles used on the highways and streets.


  49. 49
    N Riley

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:42 am)

    LauraM: I wouldn’t be so sure about that.The deaf community is very anti-cochlear implants.

    Do you know why?


  50. 50
    LauraM

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:43 am)

    Noel Park: BTW, I have made it no secret here that I am no fan of Japanese cars. Nevertheless, my heart goes out to our poor neighbors in Japan in the face of the devastating earthquake/tsunami event of yesterday. Did anyone see the live coverage on CNN of the tsunami coming ashore? It was one of the most frightening things I have ever seen. No science fiction/horror film could top that.

    It’s really scary. And if it can happen in Japan, it can happen anywhere. This isn’t Haiti, where the devastation was so bad mainly because the building standards were understandably low. This is probably the most technologically advanced country in the world.


  51. 51
    N Riley

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:46 am)

    LauraM: Driving is a privilege.Not a right.Which is why they can require you to have a driver’s license.

    I’m fine with them duplicating the sound of an ICE.I am not fine with them requiring some sort of alarm sound.

    That “privilege” reason must be why congress can tax us to death. I have always wondered why it was lawful for us to be taxed. Glad this has been cleared up. Now onto some other solutions. (Not trying to make “light” of your comment.) It is just that congress seems to get mixed up sometimes between when something is a privilege and a right. Talk about getting things backwards at times.


  52. 52
    LauraM

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:51 am)

    N Riley: Do you know why?

    They want to maintain their identity, and their community. I can understand that for adults, it would be extremely difficult to adjust when you’ve been deaf your entire life. Apparently, it does become part of your identity. Many deaf people don’t even speak English. Sign language apparently has a completely different grammatical structure.

    But I’m not at all sympathetic when it comes to kids. It’s a disability. No one should have the right to impose that kind of “difference” on someone else. I’m sorry if that sounds insensitive.


  53. 53
    N Riley

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:52 am)

    LauraM: It’s really scary.And if it can happen in Japan, it can happen anywhere.This isn’t Haiti, where the devastation was so bad mainly because the building standards were understandably low.This is probably the most technologically advanced country in the world.

    The last time I was in Japan (40 years or so ago) their buildings were pretty flimsy. I am sure they have improved that on newer buildings, but the others would number in the millions, I am sure. That size quake followed by a 33 foot wave would be a major disaster wherever it happened. My heart goes out to the Japanese people whom I have liked very much. We should all offer our assistance as well as our prayers for them and other peoples and locales that may be affected by the wave force.


  54. 54
    N Riley

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:56 am)

    LauraM: They want to maintain their identity, and their community.I can understand that for adults, it would be extremely difficult to adjust when you’ve been deaf your entire life.It is part of the identity.Many deaf people don’t even speak English.Sign language apparently has a completely different grammatical structure.

    But I’m not at all sympathetic when it comes to kids.It’s a disability.No one should have the right to impose that kind of “difference” on someone else.I’m sorry if that sounds insensitive.

    Not insensitive at all, Laura. I thought the reason(s) would be as you stated. It is quite understandable for the adults, I am sure. But, we can’t force medical solutions on them or even on the children. Or can we. Maybe if congress considered it a privilege to be disabled, they could pass laws requiring medical procedures to be instituted when developed that would resolve the disability. (Now I am being ridiculous, I know, and not funny. Just joking in a sort of way.)


  55. 55
    N Riley

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (12:02 pm)

    Jeff Cobb,

    I must agree that the white Volt pictured sure looks “smart”. I do love white cars, but had thought to not purchase a white Volt or Leaf. Still not a white Leaf, if at all, but the white Volt will be considered. Looks really great, as others have said earlier.

    Thanks for all the good news you are providing lately. This site deserves it and welcomes it as we can tell by the comments. Great job!!!


  56. 56
    pjkPA

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    pjkPA
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (12:03 pm)

    I agree with no.1…

    Politicians are out of control.

    This is NOT what the people want… it’s about the few…


  57. 57
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (12:06 pm)

    N Riley: The last time I was in Japan (40 years or so ago) their buildings were pretty flimsy. I am sure they have improved that on newer buildings, but the others would number in the millions, I am sure. That size quake followed by a 33 foot wave would be a major disaster wherever it happened. My heart goes out to the Japanese people whom I have liked very much. We should all offer our assistance as well as our prayers for them and other peoples and locales that may be affected by the wave force.

    I have met many Japanese people in New York. And they have mostly been extremely nice, likable, friendly people. My heart goes out to them. No one should have to go through what they’re going through. They have my prayers and any assistance I could possibly offer. Not that there’s absolutely anything I can do.

    I fully support the president in his offer of any and all military facilities, planes, ships, landing docks, etc. that we can provide that can possibly help. That’s not meant as a political statement. Any president, in fact, any human being, would make the same offer.

    About their building codes, a lot can change in 40 years. According to the New York Times, they are more prepared than any other country in the world.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/12/world/asia/12codes.html?hp


  58. 58
    N Riley

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (12:06 pm)

    Everyone on the East Coast must be at lunch. Oh well. I will be trotting out in about an hour also. Hope everyone will have a great weekend. You “guys” are the best! It is nice to read your comments.


  59. 59
    N Riley

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (12:13 pm)

    LauraM: I have met many Japanese people in New York.And they have mostly been extremely nice, likable, friendly people.My heart goes out to them. No one should have to go through what they’re going through. They have my prayers and any assistance I could possibly offer.Not that there’s absolutely anything I can do.

    I fully support the president in his offer of any and all military facilities, planes, ships, landing docks, etc. that we can provide that can possibly help. That’s not meant as a political statement.Any president, in fact,any human being, would make the same offer.

    About their building codes, a lot can change in 40 years. According to the New York Times, they are more prepared than any other country in the world.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/12/world/asia/12codes.html?hp

    Agreed. Except you can always offer up a prayer for their well-being. That is something we all can do with out any cost to us at all. Unless there are those among us that do not believe in praying. It does not have to be a prayer, just a well directed thought wishing those in harms way safety. And, yes, the President did the right thing and it is not political to say so. I am not a supporter of him politically, but I recognize and praise him and others who do what we all think is the “right thing to do”. I know he will see that all available assistance is provided. And we should all hope for the best for them and any others affected by this disaster.


  60. 60
    JeffB

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JeffB
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (12:14 pm)

  61. 61
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (12:39 pm)

    Where is Blind Guy when we really need him?

    I have a question for him (or anyone, come to that); Do blind people carry cellphones? With the emphasis on “i” this and “android” that, it might not be such a simple question for the sighted to answer. It could be that there are phones available which can be operated by the blind or vision impaired with reasonable effort, but I don’t know.

    What I’m thinking of is an existing avenue for implementing a directed, technological solution. Consider that many phones contain a GPS receiver; and many cars are (or will be soon) network-connected in some fashion. The phone can know where it is, and so can the car; theoretically they can communicate with each other. Is it too far-fetched that some software may allow things that the blind carry anyway become the basis of an alerting system? The phones would have to be capable of accepting a ‘call’ (flag, message, whatever) based on it’s location rather than it’s direct number, for one thing. (I think all phone carrying pedestrians could benefit from such a system, BTW). This might be the only solution for deaf people (who can presumably use phones for texting & TTY); with a vibrate setting acting as the alert.

    Safety for the blind: There’s an app for that. ;-)


  62. 62
    Rashiid Amul

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Rashiid Amul
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (12:42 pm)

    LauraM: I wouldn’t be so sure about that. The deaf community is very anti-cochlear implants.

    Sadly, there is always someone against progress, even when the progress is good.


  63. 63
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (12:51 pm)

    LauraM: In fairness, cities do have a lot of other noises that aren’t due to engine noise.Construction, horns honking, alarms, people talking, people playing music, Etc.

    Construction, honking (and don’t forget airplanes …)

    But I wonder: Would talking or music be quite as loud with lower background noise levels? In some ways, this subject is chasing it’s own tail.


  64. 64
    rhellie

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    rhellie
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (12:52 pm)

    Perhaps if we just had someone with a red lantern walking ten paces in front of the EV shouting “Make Way!”. There is precedent for this in the automotive industry so there is no need for some new process and it would certainly help to turn around the unemployment situation. Not to mention, it would be far less stressful to any horses on the road.


  65. 65
    Jackson

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (12:53 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: Sadly, there is always someone against progress, even when the progress is good.

    Especially when the progress is good.

    The man who discovered fire was probably burned at the stake he taught his brothers to light. (That’s a quote; for extra credit, someone post who it was).


  66. 66
    N Riley

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (1:01 pm)

    Jackson,

    Ayn Rand. Howard Roark… from The Fountainhead


  67. 67
    Number719

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Number719
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (1:09 pm)

    A few weeks back I came around the corner in my Volt near my house and there were two kids retrieving a ball in the street that I didn’t see until the last minute because the sun blinded me as I turned the corner. I came to a complete stop. When they turned around and saw a car RIGHT NEXT TO THEM the look on their faces was one of complete shock. So I can see why this issue is being discussed.


  68. 68
    N Riley

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (1:11 pm)

    Number719:
    A few weeks back I came around the corner in my Volt near my house and there were two kids retrieving a ball in the street that I didn’t see until the last minute because the sun blinded me as I turned the corner.I came to a complete stop.When they turned around and saw a car RIGHT NEXT TO THEM the look on their faces was one of complete shock.So I can see why this issue is being discussed.

    Very good point! Thankfully all turned out well, I assume.


  69. 69
    N Riley

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (1:16 pm)

    Jackson: Especially when the progress is good.

    The man who discovered fire was probably burned at the stake he taught his brothers to light.(That’s a quote; for extra credit, someone post who it was).

    Aren’t we all happy that government has now saved us from what Howard Roark railed against? See, it worked out in the end. Look how happy and satisfied we are today. Yeah…


  70. 70
    T 1

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    T 1
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (1:21 pm)

    Jim I: I think I said this about two years ago, when we discussed this topic at length. I want my car to either have the voice of:
    Mr. T that says, “Get Out The Way, FOOL!!!!”

    Eureka! I’m thinking the quiet cars should have an ultrasound-emitting device, so the walking dogs hear it, but not any humans.

    Thank you, thank you. I also want to thank my wife, parents, friends, the creators of South Park for keeping absurdity comedy alive, …


  71. 71
    N Riley

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (1:23 pm)

    For those interested in reading The Fountainhead piece I referred to see the below link. After reading it you may come to realize just how much we have changed since 1943. Or how much we have come to expect so much less of ourselves and more of group thinking.

    http://www.panarchy.org/rand/roark.1943.html

    It is well worth your time to read it.


  72. 72
    LauraM

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (1:30 pm)

    Jackson: What I’m thinking of is an existing avenue for implementing a directed, technological solution. Consider that many phones contain a GPS receiver; and many cars are (or will be soon) network-connected in some fashion. The phone can know where it is, and so can the car; theoretically they can communicate with each other. Is it too far-fetched that some software may allow things that the blind carry anyway become the basis of an alerting system? The phones would have to be capable of accepting a ‘call’ (flag, message, whatever) based on it’s location rather than it’s direct number, for one thing. (I think all phone carrying pedestrians could benefit from such a system, BTW). This might be the only solution for deaf people (who can presumably use phones for texting & TTY); with a vibrate setting acting as the alert.

    Safety for the blind: There’s an app for that.

    But would the app be able to tell direction?


  73. 73
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (1:36 pm)

    LauraM: But would the app be able to tell direction?

    No.

    However, being blind does not make one incapable of navigation, or reason. You’re standing at a street corner, about to cross; an alert sounds (or vibrates) in your pocket. If you can navigate and reason, do you really need more details? Sure they would be nice; but no one is expecting to restore sight to the blind.


  74. 74
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (1:39 pm)

    N Riley,

    Well done. You may pick up your extra credit at the Customer Service window. ;-)


  75. 75
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (1:47 pm)

    T 1: Eureka! I’m thinking the quiet cars should have an ultrasound-emitting device, so the walking dogs hear it, but not any humans.

    You were joking, but in fact it isn’t exactly rocket science to detect ultrasound electronically … you know, if you don’t use a guide dog.


  76. 76
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (1:51 pm)

    N Riley: Not insensitive at all, Laura. I thought the reason(s) would be as you stated. It is quite understandable for the adults, I am sure. But, we can’t force medical solutions on them or even on the children. Or can we. Maybe if congress considered it a privilege to be disabled, they could pass laws requiring medical procedures to be instituted when developed that would resolve the disability. (Now I am being ridiculous, I know, and not funny. Just joking in a sort of way.)

    Deafness is often not hereditary. So it’s not just their own children they generally try to keep from getting the implants. At the risk of sounding really insensitive, it wouldn’t bother me if they didn’t bother couples who decide to take their kids for treatment.


  77. 77
    Dave K.

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (1:59 pm)

    Number719: A few weeks back I came around the corner in my Volt near my house and there were two kids retrieving a ball in the street that I didn’t see until the last minute because the sun blinded me as I turned the corner. I came to a complete stop.

    So we need a continual sound from the Volt all the time at speeds of less than 30mph? Sure this is what you are looking for in a new $40k car? Would it be better to realize the car is BMW quiet and be extra careful? Do $55k BMW’s need a noise maker as well?

    =D-Volt


  78. 78
    T 1

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    T 1
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (2:05 pm)

    Jackson: T 1: Eureka! I’m thinking the quiet cars should have an ultrasound-emitting device, so the walking dogs hear it, but not any humans.You were joking, but in fact it isn’t exactly rocket science to detect ultrasound electronically … you know, if you don’t use a guide dog.

    And it doubles as sonar for the driver. Everyone wins–driver, pedestrian, dog. But would it set off all the dogs as you drove by, like the booming base does for car alarms?

    That would double or triple the protection! A giant bark wave announcing your arrival. Woof, there I i-is.

    But then again, aren’t those Euro-mandated blunt front ends enough? At least with a bumper bra?

    Well, as I stand here shaving with Accom’s Razor, I kinda like the baseball card in the spokes, as someone mentioned above.


  79. 79
    LauraM

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (2:06 pm)

    Jackson: However, being blind does not make one incapable of navigation, or reason. You’re standing at a street corner, about to cross; an alert sounds (or vibrates) in your pocket. If you can navigate and reason, do you really need more details? Sure they would be nice; but no one is expecting to restore sight to the blind.

    True. I could see that in suburbia. But in New York, they’d probably be better off with one that tells people when their respective lights are green. If that[s possible. Because otherwise–that phone would be constantly vibrating.


  80. 80
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (2:08 pm)

    Noel Park: BTW, I have made it no secret here that I am no fan of Japanese cars. Nevertheless, my heart goes out to our poor neighbors in Japan in the face of the devastating earthquake/tsunami event of yesterday. Did anyone see the live coverage on CNN of the tsunami coming ashore? It was one of the most frightening things I have ever seen. No science fiction/horror film could top that.

    I fly to Japan in 12 days. I hope it’s somewhat under control by then. Weird coincidence, but last March, right before I flew to Chile, they had an Earthquake (if you remember that one from the news). I still went there, and the damage wasn’t too bad in Santiago. The furthest North I’ll go in Japan is Tokyo, so maybe it will be OK.


  81. 81
    Dan Petit

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (2:09 pm)

    N Riley,

    Glad you brought up the learning process.
    My specialty is the technical training process.

    It’s easy.
    You have a handle that has three lengthwise partitions. Your thumb touches the panel on the left, and the palm of your hand touches the panel on the rightt, and your index finger touches the panel on the bottom. Lots of signals means you say put. The whole point of this is that it would be precisely directional with segmented shielded antennae (3) down in the stick part of it, causing the various segments to be vibration-varied by the slight twisting of the unit to locate the movement.
    The method of communication is instantly intuitive. Just a few moments of training would be all that would be needed as far as understanding the basic signals, but since those that get out on their own are familiar with their routes in the first place, this would easily work in the second place.
    Have you ever tried to tell from which corner of a car an imbalanced tire is located?
    This would be far far far easier than that. Place your hand on the far left dash, then the far right dash to ascertain which front corner of the vehicle might be transmitting the strongest vibration to which edge of the dash.

    Electronically, this can be done with outstanding precision as a way to communicate. My idea ought not be so quickly dismissed.


  82. 82
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (2:11 pm)

    T 1: Eureka! I’m thinking the quiet cars should have an ultrasound-emitting device, so the walking dogs hear it, but not any humans.

    What about a sensor that alerts the driver if there’s a pedestrian in front of him or her?


  83. 83
    Jeff Cobb

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jeff Cobb
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (2:11 pm)

    N Riley:
    Jeff Cobb,

    I must agree that the white Volt pictured sure looks “smart”. I do love white cars, but had thought to not purchase a white Volt or Leaf. Still not a white Leaf, if at all, but the white Volt will be considered. Looks really great, as others have said earlier.

    Thanks for all the good news you are providing lately. This site deserves it and welcomes it as we can tell by the comments. Great job!!!

    Thank you. It’s been a good bit of work getting up to speed ASAP. I know you all are very well informed, so I’ve tried to get decent stories together for you. Best Regards, Jeff


  84. 84
    Jackson

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (2:15 pm)

    kdawg: I fly to Japan in 12 days.I hope it’s somewhat under control by then.Weird coincidence, but last March, right before I flew to Chile, they had an Earthquake (if you remember that one from the news).I still went there, and the damage wasn’t too bad in Santiago.The furthest North I’ll go in Japan is Tokyo, so maybe it will be OK.

    Do, please, alert us whenever you are traveling; so that we can make arrangements to evacuate.

    ;-)


  85. 85
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (2:17 pm)

    LauraM: True.I could see that in suburbia.But in New York, they’d probably be better off with one that tells people when their respective lights are green. If that[s possible.Because otherwise–that phone would be constantly vibrating.

    In NYC, you’d just cross with the herd wouldn’t you? :-P

    Seriously, I wonder why light controllers can’t have a specialized GPS receiver; just for timekeeping. An intersection would always know the difference between weekdays and weekends, could tell the time of day, and keep any set synchronization through power failures. Your phone GPS would be able to tell you the state of the light based on where you are and what the time/date is. It wouldn’t be too different in principle from carrying map data in your dashboard GPS. Of course, this would require local authorities to act in a uniform and responsible manner; so as a matter of fact, let’s just forget the whole thing.

    LauraM: What about a sensor that alerts the driver if there’s a pedestrian in front of him or her?

    How about a sensor that detects a pedestrian in front of you, in order to turn on the annoying sound? ;-)


  86. 86
    T 1

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    T 1
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (2:24 pm)

    LauraM: T 1: Eureka! I’m thinking the quiet cars should have an ultrasound-emitting device, so the walking dogs hear it, but not any humans.What about a sensor that alerts the driver if there’s a pedestrian in front of him or her?

    That’s called eyesight. Of course, since many drivers are looking at their phone instead, the front-facing camera’s image should show on the phone, too. And my sonar device would make a loud noise for both the driver and the pedestrian. And the dog. And llama.

    We’d all be networked into one seamless, wonderful world.


  87. 87
    Dan Petit

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (2:33 pm)

    Jeff Cobb,

    Hey Jeff,
    Excuse me for being so late in complimenting your brisk fine tuning of the site.
    I always get into these topics so deeply, it seems, I keep forgetting to say Thanks.

    ******************
    *Thanks Jeff!!! *
    ******************


  88. 88
    Jim I

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim I
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (2:37 pm)

    N Riley:

    =====================================

    Way off topic:

    My only problem with The Fountainhead was that Howard Roark was making his impassioned speech about individuality and freedom to the collective mind of the twelve members of the jury, and that his freedom could only be assured by their joint decision, not by any one individual……………

    Kind of a major plot flaw, IMHO.

    OK, back to which honking noisemakers we will be forced to have on our cars!

    :-)


  89. 89
    Jim I

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim I
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (2:39 pm)

    kdawg: I fly to Japan in 12 days.I hope it’s somewhat under control by then.Weird coincidence, but last March, right before I flew to Chile, they had an Earthquake (if you remember that one from the news).I still went there, and the damage wasn’t too bad in Santiago.The furthest North I’ll go in Japan is Tokyo, so maybe it will be OK.

    ===========================

    So you are the one causing all these disasters!!!

    Please don’t fly to Youngstown, OH. We have enough problems here already……


  90. 90
    T 1

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    T 1
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (2:40 pm)

    Accom’s Razor just cut me again:

    1) How do the blind currently avoid bikes?

    2) How do they currently avoid cars that don’t make much noise? As long as the blind cross the street at corners that have stop signs or lights, when would they encounter a vehicle? Here in the city, the only examples I can think of off the top of my head, or from any direction off of it, are low-speed situations–crossing an alley or driveway, e.g., where even people that can see are at risk because the vehicle usually is moving slowly and thus quietly, and is out of sight until the very end. In other words, where the sighted are roughly the equivalent of blinded. And hardly EVER get hit.

    Hmmmm. Ok, let’s have a giant committee study this small problem for years, then ignore their watered-down, politically-motivated recommendation. Then enact the most costly, complicated non-solution, and sell it as a big win for everybody. Governor Walker, the nation needs you AGAIN.


  91. 91
    Dan Petit

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (2:41 pm)

    I read in Science Daily yesterday, that NASA has technology that can measure the movement of the earth (earthquake studies) with the precision of one twentieth of an inch. (I hadn’t heard of the earthquake in Japan yet)
    I had an inclination yesterday to study what was called a precursor to earthquake as tremor silence in California, which was reported last month. It was stated that the seismologists there are quite nervous that the fault there may be locked and loading up with force.


  92. 92
    Jim I

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim I
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (2:46 pm)

    T 1: And llama.

    ==============================

    First llama post in a while! And well executed!!!!!

    :-)


  93. 93
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (2:50 pm)

    Jackson: In NYC, you’d just cross with the herd wouldn’t you? :-P

    LOL. Contrary to popular opinion, not every part of NYC is mobbed all the time. Times square is the exception. Not the rule. The cars, on the other hand, are pretty much omnipresent.

    Seriously, if you ever come to New York, I highly recommend checking out someplace other than the typical tourist spots.

    Jackson: Seriously, I wonder why light controllers can’t have a specialized GPS receiver; just for timekeeping. An intersection would always know the difference between weekdays and weekends, could tell the time of day, and keep any set synchronization through power failures. Your phone GPS would be able to tell you the state of the light based on where you are and what the time/date is. It wouldn’t be too different in principle from carrying map data in your dashboard GPS. Of course, this would require local authorities to act in a uniform and responsible manner; so as a matter of fact, let’s just forget the whole thing.

    This may be a really stupid question–but why? What would be the application?


  94. 94
    N Riley

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (2:50 pm)

    Jackson: N Riley,

    Well done.You may pick up your extra credit at the Customer Service window.

    Is that the second window or the third on the left or on the right?


  95. 95
    N Riley

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (2:58 pm)

    Dan Petit,

    #81 — Learning Process,

    I can see where you are coming from with your analysis. Could work. Would need a lot of field work. You need to contact the NHTSA or some agency dealing with the blind (NFB). Get the ball rolling and see where it leads.


  96. 96
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (2:58 pm)

    kdawg: I fly to Japan in 12 days. I hope it’s somewhat under control by then. Weird coincidence, but last March, right before I flew to Chile, they had an Earthquake (if you remember that one from the news). I still went there, and the damage wasn’t too bad in Santiago. The furthest North I’ll go in Japan is Tokyo, so maybe it will be OK.

    I’m sure you’ll be fine. I was in Thailand a few months after they burned down a whole section of town with the riots. And I would never have guessed anything had happened if they hadn’t told us. Asian countries seem to know how to get things done promptly.


  97. 97
    N Riley

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (3:00 pm)

    LauraM: What about a sensor that alerts the driver if there’s a pedestrian in front of him or her?

    That sensor is called the “eyes”. Usually that takes cooperation from another sensor called the “brain”. Some brains have been found to be almost non-functional.


  98. 98
    N Riley

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (3:01 pm)

    Jackson: Do, please, alert us whenever you are traveling; so that we can make arrangements to evacuate.

    Again, I find my self laughing so hard it is hard to comment on your comment. LOL……


  99. 99
    Dave K.

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (3:04 pm)

    T 1: And my sonar device would make a loud noise for both the driver and the pedestrian. And the dog. And llama.

    VoltLlamaShowOff.jpg?t=1299873803


  100. 100
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (3:12 pm)

    LauraM: What about a sensor that alerts the driver if there’s a pedestrian in front of him or her?

    There are proximily laser scanners (PLS), ultra sonic scanners, and ofcourse vision systems with fancy software that would accomplish this. Some high-end cars (Lexus) already have crash avoidance detectors. This works well for cars, but I dont think it would work well with pedestrians stepping out from behind obstacles. Even if you had an infrared camera detecting body-heat, if they are behind an object, the camera won’t see them.

    I think the solution that would work best would require some kind of consant communication between pedestrians, cars, and even the roads. I’ve seen several specials on differnt ideas of a “networked highway system” or “smart road”, but who knows when we will see this in reality. Some stats they give compare how seat-belts, while save may lives, are reactive devices. You need a proactive device. Instead of saving 25% of lives w/seat belts you could save 90% with a smart highway. I’ll see if i can find some links on this stuff. My only addition would be a person’s cell phone would also connect to the system telling cars and the road where they are at. The road could also tell blind people when to cross.


  101. 101
    T 1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    T 1
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (3:13 pm)

    Long live llamas!


  102. 102
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (3:23 pm)

    N Riley: That sensor is called the “eyes”. Usually that takes cooperation from another sensor called the “brain”. Some brains have been found to be almost non-functional.

    T 1: That’s called eyesight. Of course, since many drivers are looking at their phone instead, the front-facing camera’s image should show on the phone, too. And my sonar device would make a loud noise for both the driver and the pedestrian. And the dog. And llama.

    We’d all be networked into one seamless, wonderful world.

    LOL. My point is that there are a lot of drivers who don’t pay attention, which is why they’re forcing the noise. So an alarm for the driver, or even an automatic slow down, might be an effective substitute?

    I was also reacting to Number719′s post at #67 about being blinded by the sun. That’s happened to me, occasionally. Although, fortunately, there were no pedestrians around. But there are times when eyes aren’t necessarily enough.


  103. 103
    LauraM

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (3:27 pm)

    kdawg: I think the solution that would work best would require some kind of consant communication between pedestrians, cars, and even the roads. I’ve seen several specials on differnt ideas of a “networked highway system” or “smart road”, but who knows when we will see this in reality. Some stats they give compare how seat-belts, while save may lives, are reactive devices. You need a proactive device. Instead of saving 25% of lives w/seat belts you could save 90% with a smart highway. I’ll see if i can find some links on this stuff. My only addition would be a person’s cell phone would also connect to the system telling cars and the road where they are at. The road could also tell blind people when to cross.

    There’s no way they’re ever going to do something like that in this country. It sounds great. And I could see Japan or France instituting it. But any significant government spending is now considered socialism. (And it would have to be government spending because no one else would or could invest in something like that.)


  104. 104
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (3:35 pm)

    N Riley: For those interested in reading The Fountainhead piece I referred to see the below link. After reading it you may come to realize just how much we have changed since 1943. Or how much we have come to expect so much less of ourselves and more of group thinking.

    http://www.panarchy.org/rand/roark.1943.html

    It is well worth your time to read it.

    I read it. I’ve always been curious about Ann Rand. She’s completely off about the history of invention. Most inventors don’t get burned at the stake. They get paid. And I was under the impression that modern research involved teamwork….


  105. 105
    Jeff Cobb

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jeff Cobb
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (4:02 pm)

    Dan Petit:
    Jeff Cobb,

    Hey Jeff,
    Excuse me for being so late in complimenting your brisk fine tuning of the site.
    I always get into these topics so deeply, it seems, I keep forgetting to say Thanks.

    ******************
    *Thanks Jeff!!! *
    ******************

    You’re most welcome. Thanks for saying so.


  106. 106
    N Riley

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (4:06 pm)

    LauraM: I read it. I’ve always been curious about Ann Rand.She’s completely off about the history of invention.Most inventors don’t get burned at the stake.They get paid. And I was under the impression that modern research involved teamwork….

    You are correct to an extent. Some creation is done individually and not connected socially. It probably is best as being said that “it takes all kinds” of research. Of course, research as it is carried out today in our country is not necessarily a good thing for the public. Research today involves getting large government (taxpayer) grants to pay salaries, facilities and such while you work towards a goal that very likely is never reached because of the difficulty of the problem or because no one wants to lose future grants. I know that not every research program is designed to “string along” our stupid, inefficient congress and bureaucratic government, but I would be willing to bet a large enough percentage of the programs are just that.

    But, we should never exclude or assign negativity to an individual’s ability to succeed where others have failed either separately or as a group. Man’s greatest gift or ability is his mind and its ability to help him solve the unsolvable we find daily in our lives. God gave us that mind and we should not do anything to dumb it down.


  107. 107
    N Riley

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (4:16 pm)

    LauraM,

    You would be an interesting person to sit and discuss matters of import with. But we are getting too far off base — largely due to my comments more than yours. You have a fine mind and I look forward to reading your comments.

    Now, let us resume our discussion of today’s topic. I like some of what Dan Petit has suggested, but I am afraid that in large areas, like New York, the blind person would be overcome by the multitude of sensor soundings from so many vehicles emitting approaching warnings that he/she would feel totally lost and overcome (I’ll say that word again in the same sentence since it was, after all a very long sentence – which I am making even longer — damn, if I could just quit typing…).


  108. 108
    Noel Park

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (4:25 pm)

    kdawg: Weird coincidence, but last March, right before I flew to Chile, they had an Earthquake

    #80

    Maybe you could take a little side trip to the Nissan Leaf plant, LOL? Sorry, couldn’t resist.


  109. 109
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (4:28 pm)

    LauraM: What about a sensor that alerts the driver if there’s a pedestrian in front of him or her?

    #82

    We already have those. They’re called “eyes”.


  110. 110
    N Riley

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (4:31 pm)

    Noel Park: #80

    Maybe you could take a little side trip to the Nissan Leaf plant, LOL?Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    Hey! Hey! I got one of those on order, more or less. Oh well, maybe I didn’t really want it anyway.


  111. 111
    N Riley

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (4:33 pm)

    Noel Park: #82

    We already have those.They’re called “eyes”.

    Just a tad late, Noel. She has already been hit with the “eyes” comment several other times. LOL. But, you have to admit it, she left herself open for that response.


  112. 112
    Noel Park

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (4:38 pm)

    N Riley: Just a tad late, Noel. She has already been hit with the “eyes” comment several other times. LOL. But, you have to admit it, she left herself open for that response.

    #111

    Yeah, i was just about to go back and edit, LOL. +1 I left myself open for that response. Sorry Laura.

    I have been doing a lot of running around today and commented before I read the rest of the comments, obviously. Trying to get the financial loose ends tied up so I can pick up my WHITE Volt this afternoon.


  113. 113
    kdawg

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (4:46 pm)

    Jackson: Do, please, alert us whenever you are traveling; so that we can make arrangements to evacuate.

    Jim I: So you are the one causing all these disasters!!!
    Please don’t fly to Youngstown, OH. We have enough problems here already……

    There’s actually on ongoing joke w/our group. We usually go on 1 or 2 international trips each year and everytime something crazy happens. Riots in Scotland for the G8 summit, terrorists bombings in London, claimed assasination attempts on Chavez in Venezuela… It seems like trouble precedes/follows us everywhere we go.


  114. 114
    kdawg

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (4:50 pm)

    LauraM: I read it. I’ve always been curious about Ann Rand. She’s completely off about the history of invention. Most inventors don’t get burned at the stake. They get paid. And I was under the impression that modern research involved teamwork….

    I just watched The Fountainhead (with Gary Cooper), and “A Sense of Life”, documentary on Ayn Rand. I pretty much don’t agree w/most of Rand’s philosophies of “Objectivism”, other than I do agree w/her about religion. Both DVD’s were entertaining. She was a very unusual character and stuck to her same priciples her whole life; so I guess she practiced what she preached.

    (Oh, and that speech by Roark is in the movie…. verbatim. Ayn wouldn’t let them change 1 word. There was a huge battle between the her & the producers, but she threatened to quit if they changed one thing. Kinda funny how it parallels the story)


  115. 115
    Jim I

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim I
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (4:50 pm)

    N Riley: You are correct to an extent.Some creation is done individually and not connected socially.It probably is best as being said that “it takes all kinds” of research.Of course, research as it is carried out today in our country is not necessarily a good thing for the public.Research today involves getting large government (taxpayer) grants to pay salaries, facilities and such while you work towards a goal that very likely is never reached because of the difficulty of the problem or because no one wants to lose future grants.I know that not every research program is designed to “string along” our stupid, inefficient congress and bureaucratic government, but I would be willing to bet a large enough percentage of the programs are just that.

    But, we should never exclude or assign negativity to an individual’s ability to succeed where others have failed either separately or as a group.Man’s greatest gift or ability is his mind and its ability to help him solve the unsolvable we find daily in our lives.God gave us that mind and we should not do anything to dumb it down.

    =======================

    I don’t think you will get an argument on anything you said!

    Now if we could actually get people to follow those ideals………………..


  116. 116
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (5:00 pm)

    Here’s one article from Popular Mechanics on smart roads, from 2009.
    It seems like there would be so much great technology out there but the paranoid people are always scared about big-brother spying on them.

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/alternative-fuel/news/2862586


  117. 117
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (5:03 pm)

    LauraM: This may be a really stupid question–but why? What would be the application?

    Sorry, and no it’s not a stupid question.

    It has to do with traffic density changing over time. What if a traffic signal could change hold times in a particular direction when traffic on that part of the road is heaviest? What if it could change to a more even pattern at night, and on weekends and holidays when there is less traffic? What if a chain of traffic lights could be synced so that someone obeying the speed limit could catch them all green, if they are in the right spot?

    ~~But Wait, you may say~~

    Can’t they do that now?

    Yes, after a fashion; using simple event timers. The problems come when a local transformer failure causes only one or two intersections to come back up with those timers offset by the duration of the outage. Or when you really need more than two cycle changes in 24 hours. Or after the seasonal time change (coming up this Sunday, set your clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night). And I defy any timing programmer to explain to an intersection controller that not many people are driving on Christmas day.

    GPS can be used as a kind of master clock in the sky (indeed, it is how GPS is able to determine location — by where you would have to be on Earth in order to pick up a particular combination of time signals from the orbiting satellites; which all contain atomic clocks). This synchronization would allow more flexible and powerful traffic control so precise that a light’s state could be determined with great accuracy. Perhaps in the future, your onboard navigation might advise you to slow down 5 mph in order to catch the next “green wave.”

    You may sa-a-ay I’m a dreamer … (and I guess that I’m alone) …


  118. 118
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (5:33 pm)

    LauraM: There’s no way they’re ever going to do something like that in this country. It sounds great. And I could see Japan or France instituting it.

    Because it makes too much sense for present-day America, and it’s leadership, to embrace.

    This more general explanation works better than the rather specific one you put forward, IMHO.


  119. 119
    vanuck

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    vanuck
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (5:43 pm)

    T 1,

    Actually, I’m pretty sure the EVs allready do that. The controller is working at high frequency and it does emit an “ultrasound”.


  120. 120
    jeffhre

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    jeffhre
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (6:07 pm)

    rhellie: Perhaps if we just had someone with a red lantern walking ten paces in front of the EV shouting “Make Way!”. There is precedent for this in the automotive industry so there is no need for some new process and it would certainly help to turn around the unemployment situation. Not to mention, it would be far less stressful to any horses on the road

    There are no horses on the roads, clearly you have confused this for another era. Obviously there should be young men of prime income earning age, wearing jogging suits with integrated LED flashers in front of EV’s. Shouting, “Yo, like move already.” Wow, I can feel the unemployment rate plummeting already.


  121. 121
    LauraM

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (6:13 pm)

    Jim I: I don’t think you will get an argument on anything you said!

    Now if we could actually get people to follow those ideals……………….

    I would. At least the part about government funded research. I think it’s important. Research costs money. Unfortunately, you need expensive equipment. But it’s worth it, IMHO. We need to do it if we want to maintain a competitive economy.

    And there are other things about the speech itself that I found…problematic…

    But, in the spirit of staying on topic, I won’t go into them.


  122. 122
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (6:15 pm)

    Noel Park: Yeah, i was just about to go back and edit, LOL. +1 I left myself open for that response. Sorry Laura.

    I have been doing a lot of running around today and commented before I read the rest of the comments, obviously. Trying to get the financial loose ends tied up so I can pick up my WHITE Volt this afternoon.

    LOL. Don’t worry about it. Congratulations again, on picking up your Volt!


  123. 123
    T 1

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    T 1
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (6:20 pm)

    vanuck: T 1,
    Actually, I’m pretty sure the EVs allready do that. The controller is working at high frequency and it does emit an “ultrasound”.

    Must be super low volume–I’ll see what Spot does when the first Leaf passes by our house. Probably chase after it, lol.

    My girlfriend’s favorite author is still Ayn Rand (sp). Best I can tell, not having read any of her books, is that she was a very firm believer in self-sufficiency and/or the effectiveness of self-interest in the structure of society. I’m all aboard the second part–there’s been an absolutely classic TV clip from the Donahue Show for the late 70′s on CNBC recently. Have you guys seen it? Milton Friedman succinctly lays out the best-known foundation of the economic part of society. I got goose bumps the first time I saw it. Here’s a fuller clip:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p31-xQ2Rrz4

    Of course there are other important things you need too, such as a strong rule of law. But that was some powerful stuff.


  124. 124
    jeffhre

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    jeffhre
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (6:20 pm)

    N Riley: Not very encouraging for the future. Term limits are still the best solution and short terms at that.

    Term limits don’t put limits on stupidity. The only thing they do for sure is say,although we here can vote who we want in or out, the rest of you are so stupid we’ll term limit your dumb choices.


  125. 125
    T 1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    T 1
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (6:27 pm)

    LauraM: At least the part about government funded research. I think it’s important. Research costs money. Unfortunately, you need expensive equipment.

    Some of the best stuff we’ve invented in the last few decades has literally come out of garages and basements and dorm rooms on shoestring budgets–Apple, Microsoft, Netscape, Facebook. Of course, it’s the combination of creative gov. projects/creative people (ARPANET, DARPA, etc.) and these non-gov. creative people that has produced some of the the biggest advances.


  126. 126
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (6:27 pm)

    Jackson: Sorry, and no it’s not a stupid question.

    It has to do with traffic density changing over time. What if a traffic signal could change hold times in a particular direction when traffic on that part of the road is heaviest? What if it could change to a more even pattern at night, and on weekends and holidays when there is less traffic? What if a chain of traffic lights could be synced so that someone obeying the speed limit could catch them all green, if they are in the right spot?

    ~~But Wait, you may say~~

    Can’t they do that now?

    Yes, after a fashion; using simple event timers. The problems come when a local transformer failure causes only one or two intersections to come back up with those timers offset by the duration of the outage. Or when you really need more than two cycle changes in 24 hours. Or after the seasonal time change (coming up this Sunday, set your clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night). And I defy any timing programmer to explain to an intersection controller that not many people are driving on Christmas day.

    GPS can be used as a kind of master clock in the sky (indeed, it is how GPS is able to determine location — by where you would have to be on Earth in order to pick up a particular combination of time signals from the orbiting satellites; which all contain atomic clocks). This synchronization would allow more flexible and powerful traffic control so precise that a light’s state could be determined with great accuracy. Perhaps in the future, your onboard navigation might advise you to slow down 5 mph in order to catch the next “green wave.”

    You may sa-a-ay I’m a dreamer … (and I guess that I’m alone) …

    But wouldn’t that require government planning? And spending? And taxes?


  127. 127
    Steve

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Steve
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (6:38 pm)

    I still don’t approve of purposely making the environment nosier. When I cycle, the first thing I hear from a approaching car is the tire noise. EVs still have tires right?
    We are only worried if the pedestrian is blind? Why do I see “caution deaf child” signs in residential areas and never “caution blind child” signs?

    Next we’ll be making them stink so blind and deaf pedestrians can detect them.


  128. 128
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (7:26 pm)

    kdawg: It seems like trouble precedes/follows us everywhere we go.

    #113

    Why am I not surprised, LOL. +1


  129. 129
    Steve

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Steve
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (7:27 pm)

    Number719,

    But that same situation has been occurring for decades with non-EV and not particularly quite cars too. I don’t think it fully addresses the pedestrian safety issue. It’s trying to fix one tiny parameter of the overall problem. People with normal sight and hearing still walk in front of normal cars.


  130. 130
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (7:28 pm)

    kdawg: It seems like there would be so much great technology out there but the paranoid people are always scared about big-brother spying on them.

    #116

    Moi???? Actually, it’s too late to worry about it. Especially if you’re driving a Volt, LOL. THEY KNOW WHERE YOU ARE!


  131. 131
    T 1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    T 1
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (7:29 pm)

    Steve: Next we’ll be making them stink so blind and deaf pedestrians can detect them.

    And I don’t think the Volt is very wheelchair accessible. That’s gotta be a fine in the making. And good luck driving one during an epileptic seizure. GM really rushed the car into production. lol

    Ok, I’m done with my silly posts for this evening. You’re welcome. Going to watch D Rose and da Bulls rock the UC.


  132. 132
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (7:46 pm)

    LauraM: I would. At least the part about government funded research. I think it’s important. Research costs money. Unfortunately, you need expensive equipment. But it’s worth it, IMHO. We need to do it if we want to maintain a competitive economy.

    And there are other things about the speech itself that I found…problematic…

    #122

    I’m with you. +1


  133. 133
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (7:50 pm)

    LauraM: But wouldn’t that require government planning? And spending? And taxes?

    #126

    We already do a version of this in LA. TV cameras on the signal posts communicate with a downtown control room/computer and change the signal timing in real time. Expensive as you say, but it works pretty well. I believe that there is also come capability for emergency vehicles and maybe even buses to adjust the timing.


  134. 134
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (8:18 pm)

    LauraM: But wouldn’t that require government planning?And spending?And taxes?

    At the local level, sure.

    Remember that the GPS system itself is already in place; this would be the most expensive part of the system.

    The enabler will likely not be government, but some manufacturer of traffic signals actually making this kind of system. Traffic signals are managed by local authorities today, and there is no reason why this should change. Municipalities, as customers, will hopefully make informed decisions about their needs and choose appropriately.

    The county I live in replaced all of it’s signals with LED lights over a period of about 4 years. Since electric rates for traffic signals are set by formula (when and how long various lamps are lit) and not by meter, it paid them to do it; not only do LEDs use less electricity (changing the outcome of the formula), they last much longer; with light bulbs they were charged the same for electricity even if a bulb burned out. If municipalities realize enough labor savings from the GPS lights (not resetting timers after power failures), and traffic improvements (without laying more asphalt), perhaps a similar outcome will take place.

    Of course, only a Federal imperative could make the light schedules public knowledge to the degree I described,* but enacting this would not require any equipment purchase.

    * Local authorities are far more likely to prefer the current system, since it makes for more ticket revenue.


  135. 135
    ICUR12

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    ICUR12
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (8:20 pm)

    Not everyone in the world aggress EV’s should make noise. The Nissan Leaf was recently delayed to GB because of noise.

    “Surprise of all wonders, the Nissan Leaf has suffered another delay , but this time there’s at least an amusing anecdote to quote while you wait. You see, The Northern Echo quotes a Nissan spokeswoman as saying that the Leaf’s backup warning signal emits a loud beep, but UK law requires that such sounds be disabled between the hours of 11PM and 6AM. “The audible system on the Leaf did not allow for that to be done, so the beeping sound is being removed entirely before the cars can be driven on roads in this country,”

    http://www.crunchdot.com/nissan-leaf-delayed-in-uk-backup-warning-signal-to-blame/


  136. 136
    Dan Petit

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (8:39 pm)

    I wanted to bring a final thought to this thread from yesterdays discussions about my dual battery option idea.

    As the price of gasoline goes higher and higher, I think it important for GM to cover more bases regarding the range option ideas.
    I was talking to an EV EE friend who said that he did not think that GM would ever go for a 60 mile electric range.

    I can’t see how GM could not. There would be high business and market risk in not doing so.

    You see, if gasoline goes higher and higher, that means that the electric range value of only 40 miles becomes increasingly vulnerable to what you could call the ICE range gasoline cost dilution effect if only 40 miles were still available to high annual mileage potential customers. I strongly believe that the optional 50 or 60 mile enhancements very key to assuring that not occur for higher annual mileage customers. And this is what would be needed to do that. (Not everyone was right for the 1969 Chevelle Super Sport 396 cubic inch displacement engine with the 4 speed Muncie standard transmission, but many customers had to have it for their then currently important reasons). Extended electric range is a far more important set of socially-compelling reasons nowadays as gas goes higher and higher.

    Having Volt “be the right choice for more people” ought include 18,000 annual mile to 24,000 annual mile customers

    If costing can come down for the battery, then at least there ought to be explored very thorough scenarios of these options as concurrent business plans often must outline.

    GM did an outstanding job for ICE power options when there were something like a dozen engine and transmission options for the Chevrolet Super Sport and other Chevrolet models in the 1960′s. You could buy a very efficient 230 cubic inch displacement 3 speed one barrel carburetor Chevelle for economy.

    There ought to be these compellingly-practical sorts of options made available in the not too distant future once again, but for 50 and 60 mile power options electrically.


  137. 137
    MichaelH

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MichaelH
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (9:33 pm)

    Noel Park: Trying to get the financial loose ends tied up so I can pick up my WHITE Volt this afternoon.

    So, did you get it? I’m about 1-1/2 to 2 weeks out.


  138. 138
    Driverguy01

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Driverguy01
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (9:56 pm)

    i wouldnt mind a low level wouwou sound for pedestrians, obviously, it would save lives and injuries.
    I’m a busdriver in Montreal and what i see everyday is people very distracted by texting or on the phone and crossing streets without looking, so, ACCIDENTS happen, and if a sound can save lives, then i’m all for it. it has to be a discret forward sound that i don’t hear in the cabin.

    6 months til i get my volt…..


  139. 139
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:06 pm)

    ICUR12: “Surprise of all wonders, the Nissan Leaf has suffered another delay , but this time there’s at least an amusing anecdote to quote while you wait. You see, The Northern Echo quotes a Nissan spokeswoman as saying that the Leaf’s backup warning signal emits a loud beep, but UK law requires that such sounds be disabled between the hours of 11PM and 6AM. “The audible system on the Leaf did not allow for that to be done, so the beeping sound is being removed entirely before the cars can be driven on roads in this country,”

    This makes a much stronger case for going to England to buy an Ampera, and then shipping it back to the USA; like nasaman wants to do. ;-)


  140. 140
    Jackson

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (10:13 pm)

    Dan Petit,

    Another asset of providing for a dual battery module is that if GM chooses not to exploit the future options it gives them, someone else can.

    When we buy conventional autos today, we usually end up purchasing the starter batteries from someone else. This could be a market opportunity, directly, for the EV battery suppliers; including emerging companies like A123, who lack a large-scale contract right out of the gate.


  141. 141
    Hodginator

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Hodginator
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:15 pm)

    Here’s a couple of ideas instead of making electric cars sound like icecream trucks.

    Drivers:
    Drive more carefully in parking lots and don’t run over pedestrians.

    Pedestrians:
    Look where the heck you are walking.


  142. 142
    LauraM

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:23 pm)

    jeffhre: Term limits don’t put limits on stupidity. The only thing they do for sure is say,although we here can vote who we want in or out, the rest of you are so stupid we’ll term limit your dumb choices.

    The real problem with our voting system, IMHO, is gerrymandering. When politicians can choose their voters, it becomes almost impossible to vote them out of office. All term limits will do is make them care even less about what the voters think.


  143. 143
    harrier

    +6

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    harrier
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:23 pm)

    I have my volt and have not run over anyone yet… visually impaired or not. There is my anecdotal evidence.

    How many pedestrians are hit by ‘silent’ bicycles? They are dangerous I tell you and something has to be done. Mandatory cards in spokes must be implemented!

    This is a biased bill that singles out hybrid and EV’s. If it were really designed for “safety” then it would be based on the amount of sound that the vehicle produced when operating until it reached 30 MPH. IF you want to target vehicles then it should be ALL vehicles. There is oil money behind this, you will just have to drill for it.

    Harrier


  144. 144
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:33 pm)

    Jackson: Of course, only a Federal imperative could make the light schedules public knowledge to the degree I described,* but enacting this would not require any equipment purchase.

    I would think that hiring people to control the lights instead of doing it automatically to create that flexibility would be more expensive. And that it would require more labor than simply resetting the timers. But you would know more than I do.

    Jackson: * Local authorities are far more likely to prefer the current system, since it makes for more ticket revenue.

    Then it’s not happening, IMHO. The federal government is not going to stop municipalities from making money. Especially given that they’re all facing huge credit issues at the moment. (The stock market crash made pensions a lot more expensive.)


  145. 145
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:36 pm)

    Noel Park: We already do a version of this in LA. TV cameras on the signal posts communicate with a downtown control room/computer and change the signal timing in real time. Expensive as you say, but it works pretty well. I believe that there is also come capability for emergency vehicles and maybe even buses to adjust the timing.

    It makes sense for LA. Which has the population density and tax revenue to justify that kind of system. Not to mention serious congestion issues. I’m not so sure about the rest of the country…


  146. 146
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2011 (11:54 pm)

    T 1: Some of the best stuff we’ve invented in the last few decades has literally come out of garages and basements and dorm rooms on shoestring budgets–Apple, Microsoft, Netscape, Facebook. Of course, it’s the combination of creative gov. projects/creative people (ARPANET, DARPA, etc.) and these non-gov. creative people that has produced some of the the biggest advances.

    You’re right. Not all innovation requires a team or a lot of money. And there still are people who tinker and produce from their garages. But that’s the tail end of the process. There would be no Apple or Microsoft or Internet if the government hadn’t invested in some very expensive early computers. More recently, the coding of the human genome was a team effort. And required expensive equipment. And, it holds the best promise for future medical advances of anything in decades.

    Gleevec, which transformed the treatment of chronic myloid Lukemia would never have been discovered without NIH funding. The swiss company Novartis got the credit (and the profits). But it was really US government money that made it happen. (As an aside, I think private/public partnerships using US government funded research should be limited to US based companies, but that’s just me.)

    As far as teamwork vs. individuals–I consider the Volt a major breakthrough. And many engineers were involved in the development process. Not just one.


  147. 147
    nasaman

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nasaman
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (12:16 am)

    harrier: This is a biased bill that singles out hybrid and EV’s. If it were really designed for “safety” then it would be based on the amount of sound that the vehicle produced when operating until it reached 30 MPH. IF you want to target vehicles then it should be ALL vehicles…
    Harrier

    Exactly my view, Harrier! Especially since many new ICE cars use sound abatement technologies so effective that they’re inaudible at low speeds (except for tire noise, which should be similar to the tire noise of an EV).

    *BTW, congrats on your Volt! [NOTE to two Californians: Don't be shy ---post photos of your new Volts here, Harrier and Noel!]


  148. 148
    T 1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    T 1
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (1:37 am)

    LauraM: You’re right. Not all innovation requires a team or a lot of money.

    Just use the best tool for the job–gov. R&D $ seems like the best fit for long-term, big $, very high risk/reward scenarios, and private $ for everything else.

    Ok, now I can go back to my path of least mental resistance. Umm, sleep. On a donut pillow. Yummm…


  149. 149
    Sean

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Sean
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (4:15 am)

    Well I may have to agree with this law because it should make roads safer for pedestrians and trust me I have heard hybrids and the electric sports car the Tesla Roadster before and there very quiet but yeah let’s hope it has some other sound than a combustion engine. But still there will be one advantage even if a plug-in hybrid is in electric mode or as well when an electric car is on the road even if they need some sort of artificial sound we won’t be smelling smelly gasoline at all when it comes to electrics and you probably won’t smell the gas from a hybrid or plug-in hybrid as much when it comes to your typical gas hogger that can be quite smelly when it emits CO2 in the air. So let’s be glad a law like this should go in affect and I’m glad we need it because sometimes hybrids can be like spy’s when sneaking on your back but we don’t want that wouldn’t we no we wouldn’t just to say and here’s an article from National Geographic that talks about why gas prices are going up like a rocket enjoy. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2011/03/110310-middle-east-turmoil-gas-price/


  150. 150
    Sean

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Sean
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (4:24 am)

    But one thing I do agree with you guys is that Republicans are complete idiots most of the time just to say period!


  151. 151
    Dan Petit

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (7:25 am)

    Hey everyone,

    Look at what happened all up and down this thread!

    People are thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking!

    If everyone else in America did this all day, we would not have unemployment at the levels we still currently have. (So keep on thinking deeply about compelling issues! It’s really fun to read thorough contemplations!)

    It’s a wonderful thing when deep thoroughness and working together this way fills this site, even the riotous humor!


  152. 152
    BDP

    -4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BDP
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (7:59 am)

    I knocked the baffles out of the exhaust on my Harley. You can feel it when I drive by. Is that good enough?? No doubt about it, loud pipes saves lives. MINE!!!!!!!


  153. 153
    nuclearboy

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nuclearboy
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (9:12 am)

    LauraM,

    Term limits are a great idea. I observe that congressmen make better choices in their last term. Every term should be their last term.

    When you need to go around the country and raise 30 – 50 million dollars so you can be re-elected, conflicts of interest start to form. I know that the average congressman claims he is not influenced by the lobbyist who just gave them 500,000 dollars, but lobbyists are not stupid. They give this money for a reason. It buys influence. If it did not, they would not spend it.

    Bottom line, term limits are good for the country. Long entrenched rulers are a problem. They loose track with what it means to live and work in the country. Send them home and bring someone in who has lived in the real world.


  154. 154
    Eco_Turbo

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Eco_Turbo
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (10:27 am)

    nuclearboy: Long entrenched rulers are a problem.

    Just 537 people stand between what we have and a new start. 8) But it’s a hard thing to not vote for an incumbent. Many people would not want or be able to do the work involved in knowing who the incumbents are for your area. It would be a great thing though to kick “all” of them out. Of course then you have to deal with people saying, well, “my” incumbent is not so bad.


  155. 155
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (10:36 am)

    6-7-08-lutz-volt.jpg?t=1299943823

    In 2008 Bob Lutz mentioned the Volt will have all the bells and whistles. And that GM will build lots of Volts.

    This comment concerned me at first. What will GM build into the Volt? How much more will these features cost? After driving my Volt for nearly two months. Using the 8 speaker BOSE sound system, NAV, bluetooth, garage door and gate openers, steering wheel controls, hands free features, OnStar w/ MyLink, sound system auto volume compensation (one of my favs), heated front seats, XM, mp3 playback w/ USB, DVD, 120V outlets, forged aluminum wheels, high tech Goodyear tires, 300+ miles of range, and Sport Mode electric drive. And the ACTIVE pedestrian friendly alert. I am really enjoying having these features available. And love the incredible gas mileage. I am currently over 800MPG.

    When the announcement was made that the 2012 model year Volt would include a PASSIVE pedestrian friendly alert. I was very pleased to have placed the order for a 2011 model.

    Alert noises sound louder in enclosed spaces such as parking structures, home garages, and tunnels. Can the noise maker be turned off at funerals? Can the noise maker be turned off when arriving home at 2AM or 3AM? If my PFA sounds at the hours I return home from work my condo association would have a problem with this. Will the 2012 Volt offer PFA volume settings? Maybe a noise maker ON/OFF switch with a warning to the driver?

    =D-Volt


  156. 156
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (10:39 am)

    Jackson: Of course, only a Federal imperative could make the light schedules public knowledge to the degree I described,* but enacting this would not require any equipment purchase.

    LauraM: I would think that hiring people to control the lights instead of doing it automatically to create that flexibility would be more expensive. And that it would require more labor than simply resetting the timers. But you would know more than I do.

    You’re not ‘getting’ it. The lights would be programmed once, the GPS timekeeping makes it ‘stick’ through a power failure (while maintaining precise synchronization). More fancy programming would be required, making more things possible, but one guy in most places could do it (compare that to a county or city road crew maintaining all the lights on a continuous basis).

    Having slept, I now realize that the big labor savings would be not sending the police to busy intersections every weekday afternoon (like a neighboring county does). It isn’t just the cost behind providing the specific policemen for routine traffic control, it’s the overall cost of maintaining a department large enough to provide crime-stopping services even with this manpower drain.

    * Local authorities are far more likely to prefer the current system, since it makes for more ticket revenue.

    LauraM: Then it’s not happening, IMHO. The federal government is not going to stop municipalities from making money. Especially given that they’re all facing huge credit issues at the moment. (The stock market crash made pensions a lot more expensive.)

    What if it were a Federally mandate for safety (remember the original purpose of this idea). Of course, if this happens, it will force municipalities to spend the money and raise taxes; so in that sense, you’d be right.


  157. 157
    Jackson

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (10:52 am)

    Hodginator: Drivers:
    Drive more carefully in parking lots and don’t run over pedestrians.

    … and don’t text or talk on your cellphones while driving.

    Pedestrians:
    Look where the heck you are walking.

    … and don’t text or talk on your cellphones while walking …


  158. 158
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (10:57 am)

    Sean:
    But one thing I do agree with you guys is that Republicans are complete idiots most of the time just to say period!

    Oh yeah? Oh yeah? Well Democrats are total morons most of the time. Nyah nyah nyah. :-P

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Political posturing on this site accomplishes nothing useful, IMO. :-(


  159. 159
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (11:05 am)

    Jackson: What if it were a Federal mandate for safety (remember the original purpose of this idea). Of course, if this happens, it will force municipalities to spend the money and raise taxes; so in that sense, you’d be right.

    Clarification:

    It would save the municipalities money in the long run, but a mandate would interfere with their ability to budget and plan for it. (And of course, they can say “Look what the big bad Federal government made us do!”)


  160. 160
    Jackson

    +6

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (12:07 pm)

    BDP:
    I knocked the baffles out of the exhaust on my Harley.You can feel it when I drive by.Is that good enough??No doubt about it, loud pipes saves lives.MINE!!!!!!!

    Loud pipes p|ss people off. All motorcycles are getting banned from more and more places because of them.

    Your safety does not require anyone to hear your bike a mile before it arrives.


  161. 161
    Eco_Turbo

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Eco_Turbo
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (1:33 pm)

    Jackson: Loud pipes p|ss people off. All motorcycles are getting banned from more and more places because of them.

    Your safety does not require anyone to hear your bike a mile before it arrives.

    Loud pipes are heard more behind the bike anyway.


  162. 162
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (2:54 pm)

    Jackson: Loud pipes p|ss people off. All motorcycles are getting banned from more and more places because of them.

    Your safety does not require anyone to hear your bike a mile before it arrives.

    #160

    I own an old kick start Harley “Ironhead” Sportster and a Buell X1 Lightning which has a 1200cc Harley Sportster engine. Straight pipes p**s ME off, partly because the noise is annoying and partly because I know it makes me look bad too. I have been riding motorcycles since 1959, and I would NEVER ride an unmuffled bike on the street. +1

    “Stupid is as stupid does” IMHO.


  163. 163
    Noel Park

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (3:07 pm)

    MichaelH: So, did you get it? I’m about 1-1/2 to 2 weeks out.

    #137

    Yup, it showed up yesterday afternoon. When I left work yesterday it was showing 33 miles AER remaining. I made it home on the battery with 2 miles to spare, LOL. There is about 1000 feet of elevation gain between my work and my house. This morning is showed full charge and 39 miles AER. By the time I got down the hill and drove 27 miles to work, it was showing 24 miles remaining range. So the elevation change is a really a big impact. No surprise there. But it’s all pretty encouraging anyway.

    This morning I ran around trying to figure out how to plug in the 110v charger at work. It’s charging right now for the trip home, but I have a big side trip on the way, so the “range extender” will kick in for sure. Which is the theory and the beauty of the EREV IMHO.

    All of the “bells and whistles” are driving me nuts at the moment. It’s going to take a few days to sort it all out for sure. I finally got the AC shut off. When I started fiddling with the radio it came back on. And it’s done it 3 times. Go figure???

    Anyway, let the science project begin! And thanks for asking.


  164. 164
    Noel Park

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (3:09 pm)

    Hodginator: Look where the heck you are walking.

    #141

    Kinda tough when you’re blind.


  165. 165
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (3:14 pm)

    Sean: here’s an article from National Geographic that talks about why gas prices are going up like a rocket enjoy.

    #149

    Great link. Thanks. +1


  166. 166
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (3:42 pm)

    nuclearboy: nuclearboy Says

    #153

    So what’s going on in Japan? As our resident expert, I’m hoping that you can give us the straight story.


  167. 167
    MichaelH

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MichaelH
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (4:22 pm)

    Noel Park,

    Most owners have been fussing about the radio coming on when they want to do something else. This is the first I have heard of the AC coming on when adjusting the radio.


  168. 168
    LauraM

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (4:38 pm)

    nuclearboy: Term limits are a great idea. I observe that congressmen make better choices in their last term. Every term should be their last term.

    When you need to go around the country and raise 30 – 50 million dollars so you can be re-elected, conflicts of interest start to form. I know that the average congressman claims he is not influenced by the lobbyist who just gave them 500,000 dollars, but lobbyists are not stupid. They give this money for a reason. It buys influence. If it did not, they would not spend it.

    Bottom line, term limits are good for the country. Long entrenched rulers are a problem. They loose track with what it means to live and work in the country. Send them home and bring someone in who has lived in the real world.

    I have no problem with term limits, if it’s done in conjunction with a)campaign finance reform, and b)strong prohibitions against gerrymandering. But it’s not a substitute for either, IMHO.

    Absolutely, campaigns are too expensive, and too time consuming. But term limits, by themselves, wouldn’t reduce the expense. First time elections are more expensive than running again. And I doubt politicians will feel free to ignore their campaign donors just because they’re not planning to run again, at least for the same office. Especially since they’ll all want plum lobbying jobs when they “retire.” And, if they’re not running, they don’t have to care what the voters think.

    The problem with gerrymandering is that when people of both parties finagle their district so that they can make sure they get the bulk of republican, or democrat voters, both have to play to the extremists on both sides, which makes it impossible to compromise.

    And, equally importantly, it makes the individual politicians less responsible to the voters. In New York, which is gerrymandered to the point of insanity, everyone hates the current state legislature. But very few people vote in the primaries. And most republican voters are not going to vote for a democrat and vice versa. So we keep getting the same currupt representatives election after election. And even when someone retires, the new person is invariably just as bad.


  169. 169
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (4:50 pm)

    Jackson: You’re not ‘getting’ it. The lights would be programmed once, the GPS timekeeping makes it ‘stick’ through a power failure (while maintaining precise synchronization). More fancy programming would be required, making more things possible, but one guy in most places could do it (compare that to a county or city road crew maintaining all the lights on a continuous basis).

    But that wouldn’t be that much more flexible than the event timers? The most repsponsive system is the one that Noel talked about. Were people observe and react to traffic patterns in real time, and adjust the lights accordingly. It’s not like traffic patterns are static. And traffic lights would still need to be maintained. The LED substitution would help with that. But even LED lights don’t last forever. And machines, in general, need maintenance.

    I agree that they might wind up with fewer workers by shifting from event timers to new programmable lighting fixtures. But I’m not sure how large the savings would be…Especially given how difficult it is to do layoffs… But you probably know more than I do.

    Jackson: What if it were a Federally mandate for safety (remember the original purpose of this idea). Of course, if this happens, it will force municipalities to spend the money and raise taxes; so in that sense, you’d be right.

    Maybe I’m cynical. But I doubt that the federal government would create a new safety mandate that would interfere with municipalities collecting parking ticket revenue. They do create unfunded mandates all the time. (Although I suspect they’re going to be a lot more hesitant to do so in the future.) But the unfunded mandates are usually something with a lot of appeal to certain special interest or looks good to a large segment of the voting population. I don’t think there’s a “traffic light transparency” lobby…


  170. 170
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (4:57 pm)

    Noel Park: All of the “bells and whistles” are driving me nuts at the moment. It’s going to take a few days to sort it all out for sure. I finally got the AC shut off. When I started fiddling with the radio it came back on. And it’s done it 3 times. Go figure???

    Anyway, let the science project begin! And thanks for asking.

    But I hope you’re enjoying driving it?


  171. 171
    Dan Petit

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (7:03 pm)

    I really like Laura’s views on term limits. Really outstanding accuracy regarding the tendency toward corruption.

    The traffic light cams are grouped with something like a dozen on one monitor, and likely all cams in one city can be viewed by any traffic technician at any time. So this system really works well. Here in Austin, they first spent something like 200 million synchronizing hundreds of traffic lights.

    Then, about two years later they spent another 120 million.

    While these amounts seem to have cost lots in terms of up front dollars, the net savings in both idling gasoline, pollution control, and personal time saved for all drivers has just been incredible. That was money extremely well spent.

    Another neat thing about Austin. The Austin Police Department ***wants*** you to know where they will be setting up radar. That way, you know that there is some problem area where you need a little extra caution in monitoring your speed, especially if there had been an accident. The announcements are often on the FOX tv channel here in their morning news show. (They have also gone really really green, which I like too).


  172. 172
    Dan Petit

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (7:10 pm)

    Hey Jeff,

    Would it be possible to have the edit time timer show remaining edit time right above the edit box next the the URL box? That would keep the remaining time in focus.


  173. 173
    wolfdoctor

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    wolfdoctor
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (7:13 pm)

    The warning is way too loud. Can you imagine hundreds or thousands of these in a large city with tall buildings all around? The noise would be deafening. That would truly be an unintended consequence – harm the hearing of everyone so blind people don’t get hit.

    Also, never buy a house near a stop sign.


  174. 174
    Taylor

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Taylor
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (8:28 pm)

    I guess GM could talk to Harley Davidson about this problem.


  175. 175
    Raymondjram

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Raymondjram
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (8:37 pm)

    Noel Park:
    CNN just showed a helicopter shot of a whole row of what look like Prii crushed by mud and debris from the tsunami.It’s enough to make you stop and think for sure.

    This could mean that newer prii plus all their replacements parts will have delivery delays, price increases, or even become scarce. Nevertheless this is a bad situation for all Japanese vehicles dealers and their clients. Could this also decrease the value of the Yen?

    Raymond


  176. 176
    Jeff Cobb

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jeff Cobb
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (8:49 pm)

    Dan Petit:
    Hey Jeff,

    Would it be possible to have the edit time timer show remaining edit time right above the edit box next the the URL box? That would keep the remaining time in focus.

    I’ll check this week. Maybe, but I don’t know Word Press that well (yet). We have an IT staff that does, so I’ll pass the question on.


  177. 177
    Raymondjram

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Raymondjram
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (8:51 pm)

    Hodginator:
    Here’s a couple of ideas instead of making electric cars sound like icecream trucks.

    Yeah, I still hate the “Mister Softee” music!!

    Raymond


  178. 178
    Engineer

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Engineer
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2011 (10:28 pm)

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    I was really fretting this. I hope they come up with a nice futury hummm like in demolition man or something.


  179. 179
    Brad H

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Brad H
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (3:51 am)

    COMPLETE STUPIDITY


  180. 180
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (6:50 am)

    Ever ask an elementary school student who The Beatles are? Or if they like Peter Sellers movies? They won’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Quiet cars will one day be considered “normal”. If the noise maker law is enacted we are giving up our opportunity to live in quiet neighborhoods. If people disable the noise makers in their new cars. Will traffic patrol or parking enforcement issue citations? Think about this before hopping on board the noise maker train.

    No Plug, No Sale


  181. 181
    Eco_Turbo

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Eco_Turbo
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (7:15 am)

    GM needs to emit more Voltecs.

    /OT Rare Earth News…

    http://www.popsci.com/node/52551/?cmpid=enews031011


  182. 182
    BDP

    -2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BDP
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (7:28 am)

    Eco_Turbo,

    Reading these replies makes me laugh! If car drivers would pay more attention & start seeing motorcycles by talking & texting less, it wouldn’t be an issue.

    Funny how noise pollution in the name of the occasional deaf person is ok, but not quite so for the biker! I’ll keep my pipes & live. Oh, and the deaf guy will hear me too, thus continuing to live as well.

    Good luck trying to control the law brickers! : )


  183. 183
    Dave K.

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (8:50 am)

    Saturday March 12, 2011, 1:09 pm EST ~ US clears more deepwater oil drilling in Gulf

    US allows BHP Billiton to resume deepwater drilling in Gulf of Mexico; 2nd permit in 2 weeks

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/US-clears-more-deepwater-oil-apf-1644611204.html?x=0

    NPNS


  184. 184
    John

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    John
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (9:09 am)

    Saw two drivers yesterday driving heavy SUVs with phones above their steering wheel, texting. I wonder if we will face a future of this. Aren’t phones already allowing voice activation? Given their powerful, texting should easily have voice to text conversions built in.

    Crazy thing about texting that I’ve learned. It’s not that kids don’t want to talk on a phone to someone. They want to have multiple conversations going on at their leisure with many people. This is dangerous as texting is an addiction that requires instant feedback or “drama ensues”. Why didn’t you text me back right away? is a common issue among kids. This is troubling as these same people will grow up and have to work jobs where they have to break these addictions to actually work.


  185. 185
    mmalc

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    mmalc
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (11:55 am)

    Even when no one is near a rolling EV or hybrid, they will have to continually make precautionary sounds, at least at lower speeds.

    This seems as if it would unnecessarily add to general noise pollution. Many vehicles already have park-assist radar, sometimes for the front as well as the back. The Volt’s rear-facing radar appears to do a particularly good job at identifying where an object is in addition to its proximity.

    If “they” really insist on going ahead with this, I would suggest tying the alarm in with speed-sensitive proximity detectors, so that an alert is only given when necessary.


  186. 186
    mmalc

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    mmalc
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (12:03 pm)

    (Continuing from previous post, #185.)

    Moreover, I hope consideration is given to auditory psychophysics when specifying the sound that a vehicle must emit. If all vehicles emit the same continuous tone, for example, then modulo Doppler effect it may be increasingly difficult to discriminate between sound sources. Many years ago, Roy Patterson for example did research into alarm sounds for multi-console control rooms (http://www.applyhcs.com/HCS%20AlarmSounds%20Info_2009.pdf). The goal was to ensure that operators could differentiate between different systems and different levels of urgency. In particular, the design of the alarm was intended to reduce likelihood of startling the hearer.

    It might be appropriate for different cars to have different alarm tone combinations, and to tie the alarm type to a proximity detector (perhaps modulated by the velocity of the vehicle)…


  187. 187
    kdawg

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (12:36 pm)

    wolfdoctor: The warning is way too loud. Can you imagine hundreds or thousands of these in a large city with tall buildings all around? The noise would be deafening. That would truly be an unintended consequence – harm the hearing of everyone so blind people don’t get hit.
    Also, never buy a house near a stop sign.

    What warning? The one from the video? That’s a momentary one that GM came up with. We have yet to hear an “always on” warning. If its the same level of sound as a typical engine running, what would be any different than what we have now?


  188. 188
    mmalc

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    mmalc
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (12:39 pm)

    kdawg: If its the same level of sound as a typical engine running, what would be any different than what we have now?

    It wouldn’t. And that would be a wasted opportunity to reduce the level of noise pollution in our environment.


  189. 189
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (12:46 pm)

    I ride a motorcycle too, and have thought about how to make them more noticable to drivers. Of course the headlight is always on, but without 2 lights people cannot use depth perception to figure out how far away you are before they pull out (this is a tuffy). I don’t want loud pipes. I dont like them when i’m riding in a car or on my bike. As an engineer i’m always looking towards technology. I don’t think it would be too much work/money to have proximity sensors on ALL vehicles. If a driver goes to make a lane change and another vehicle is there, they would get an alert (a lot of times this alert already exists in the form of the other driver honking). It might even be a good idea to have some kind of display to show the vehicles around you. Some cars have really bad blind spots. I would think semi-truck drivers would like this information as well. This technology exists, it would just have to be implented… and yes the big bad goverment would have to get involved to get it across the board. Maybe a few car companies could try it and see what the public thinks. I know bikers would like it.


  190. 190
    kdawg

    -1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (12:52 pm)

    T 1,

    Milton Friedman…. must have been nice to be an idealist.


  191. 191
    Dan Petit

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (1:19 pm)

    The concern for the quiet of any vehicle is heightened if someone driving one is also texting and is unable to be *more* vigilant for pedestrians as opposed to being far, far less so.

    NOW YOU HAVE A SCARY SITUATION.

    There seems to be this in-lane trajectory that texters have, with extended straight-line course corrections when you are observing them (hopefully) from behind.

    A few weeks ago, I witnessed this type of vehicular behavior, and, it went right through a red light and T-boned another vehicle which had the green light for at least five seconds.


  192. 192
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (1:38 pm)

    Since we are talking about texting & motorcycles, I felt the need to post this viral video (for those who haven’t seen it).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So2rZOeRLvU


  193. 193
    Dan Petit

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (3:46 pm)

    After reading through the last several threads again, a quick note regarding invention.

    Thomas Edison himself invented dozens of things by himself.

    Nowadays, it is less likely a person invents a finished product.

    But an inventor can invent a breakthrough **process** which can yield very powerful
    and highly-cost-saving immediate results.

    Sometimes it is often better to not patent a well-developed/perfected process in order to maintain proprietary ownership of it.


  194. 194
    pjkPA

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    pjkPA
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (5:33 pm)

    Of all the stupid things for our president to be concerned about!

    My ICE car now is now silent when you stand more than 5′ away…. the engine emits no sound when going very slow…. this is totally stupidity and just more government where it should not be… just more tyranny.

    I want to see sound footprints from all cars in situations where anyone would be in danger.

    Sonar is so cheap … the blind could easily have a sonar device that would do the job much better than fake sound on all cars and what about noise pollution?

    Where are the noise pollution people? Adding sound to cars?

    The government will spend billions of our taxpayer money to hire lawyers to “study” this non problem.

    Our government needs more common sense… and it needs to stop spending our money on stupid things like adding sound to cars.


  195. 195
    mmalc

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    mmalc
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (6:33 pm)

    kdawg:
    I ride a motorcycle too, and have thought about how to make them more noticable to drivers.Of course the headlight is always on, but without 2 lights people cannot use depth perception to figure out how far away you are…

    It’s not clear on what basis you make this assertion. The visual system uses a multitude of cues and techniques to determine depth (from stereo disparity to relative movement). I’m struggling to see how a bike having two headlights would make a significant difference…


  196. 196
    Dan Petit

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (7:31 pm)

    I think kdawg means a shift in angularity as the paired two lights come closer. Some motorcycles do have two closely placed headlamps, and, it seems to me it helps a lot as it comes closer when it is in the cross traffic lane at night. Especially when there are no streetlights to reference for a backdrop.


  197. 197
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (8:28 pm)

    mmalc: It’s not clear on what basis you make this assertion. The visual system uses a multitude of cues and techniques to determine depth (from stereo disparity to relative movement). I’m struggling to see how a bike having two headlights would make a significant difference…

    Say at night, when looking at a car from a distance, you can use the space between the 2 points of lights, to estimate the distance the car is from you. With only 1 data point on a motorcycle, there is no way to make this estimate.


  198. 198
    Jeff Cobb

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jeff Cobb
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (8:53 pm)

    kdawg,

    Amber running lights (front turn signals always on) do help motorcycles be seen a bit. I agree twin headlights are better. The real safety conscious riders pair up extra running lights which help day and night.

    In any case being recognized ASAP as a (more vulnerable) motorcyclist instead a car with one headlight burned out makes at least the conscientious take notice.

    Interestingly, when the Japanese in the 90s began pairing headlights into aggressive looking facades on sportbikes, I believe some study went into this, as they thought it created a “face” and this too has a psychological affect.

    I have twin paired lights on my bike. Bright clothes and reflectivity help too.

    Ultimately riders are responsible for their own safety. Can’t rely on motorists to “see” them – what do they frequently tell the police after they turn left in front of one and take the rider out? “I never saw it.”


  199. 199
    mmalc

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    mmalc
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (9:35 pm)

    kdawg: Say at night, when looking at a car from a distance, you can use the space between the 2 points of lights, to estimate the distance the car is from you.

    Without knowing how far apart the two lights actually are, you can’t…
    (Is it a narrow car near you or a wide car further away?)


  200. 200
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (9:42 pm)

    Jeff Cobb,

    Yeah, there’s really no excuse as a rider. Its a dangerous activity, so you have to accept the risks. I always assume no one can see me. About 10 years ago, I used to ride my bicycle (the peddle kind) every day, 5 miles into town and 5 miles back. Regarding near accidents, it was worse then the motorcycle. I actually did get hit by a car one time and flew about 10 ft. My bicycle was still under the driver’s car, and they never left the car or even turned the engine off. The driver was actually trying to drive away and I was yelling my bike was still under the car. Both my tires got taco’d and I got a nice road rash, but no apology. The driver was actually upset at me even though I had a green light. Multiple people gathered and said they would be a witness for court, but I didnt sue or anything like that (just not my personality). Anyway, the lesson I learned was to always assume you are invisable.


  201. 201
    kdawg

    -2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (9:43 pm)

    mmalc,

    Most car’s headlights are approximately the same distance apart.


  202. 202
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (9:45 pm)

    City lot #7 in Santa Barbara

    SantaBarbaracitylot7.jpg?t=1300070688


  203. 203
    Jeff Cobb

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jeff Cobb
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (10:21 pm)

    kdawg,

    I hear that. Agreed on all points. I’ve been side swiped and left by a negligent car driver on my pedal bike too. Never as bad as your situation though.

    It’s an irony cyclists don’t always fully consider. You wear next to no protection on a bicycle which gets pitched as a healthy pursuit. But they can hit 40-plus mph, so make sure you don’t crash! I’ve fallen off a motorcycle at 100 mph on the race track in leather and full helmet and would rather have had that, than 35-45 mph off a bicycle wearing cyclist’s garb (except for the trashed bike part).

    Lots of things to think about in this world, aren’t there? :)


  204. 204
    BLIND GUY

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BLIND GUY
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2011 (10:55 pm)

    Just for the record; I’m not a NFB member or a fan of NFB. IMO they can be narrow-minded and very radical; when it comes to legislation. I do think a low-volume; appealing as possible sound; emitted at very low-speed only could be helpfull to blind persons for sure and other peds. as well. Blind ppersons, obviously focus more on sounds of all kinds; other people do rely on sounds, but not as their primary sense of awareness. The kids chasing the ball in the street; being shocked at the car they didn’t hear coming or see because of the corner. I do think people are worried that any sound will be too loud or annoying; however that does not need to be the case IMO. If this legislation is put into law; I think it should apply to vehicles that are under a set decibel level; to be fair to all. There are GPS devices specially designed for the blind that are quite accurate for locating: streets, businesses, addresses and coordinates. These devices can be used with ear-phones or tactually with refreshable Braille. When traveling; your hearing and touch are your primary senses. So, like drivers who unfortunately text while driving; the same kind of distraction can occur with a blind person having to focus on other input IMO. Crossing busy intersections can be safer than random traffic intersections because of hearing traffic surges and left turn lane turners; which can also be random depending on traffic needs. Anyway, the need to be focused on the actual traffic movement cannot be duplicated by feeling some tactual device IMHO. Lazer canes have been tried; with too much distracting info to be really helpfull. Sonic devices; can be helpfull in locating doorways and some obstacles but not for a primary mobility device. IMO a sound just slightly louder than the sound of our Prius re-gen-braking sound should be enough. Hope this info helps.


  205. 205
    Jdenn4698

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jdenn4698
     Says

     

    Mar 14th, 2011 (8:46 am)

    Eco_Turbo:
    They should hurry and decide at what speed these devices will come on. I need to practice turning into my driveway without going below that speed!

    Ha Ha Ha,


  206. 206
    joe obrien

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    joe obrien
     Says

     

    Mar 15th, 2011 (4:15 am)

    At least they only said it had to be tamper “resistant”

    Good thing my area has no vehicle inspections. This would be the first modification done to my Volt. Just hope this doesn’t make it onto the 2012-13 model years so i won’t half to worry about it.


  207. 207
    Number719

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Number719
     Says

     

    Mar 15th, 2011 (10:48 pm)

    ,

    Steve – I wasn’t saying I wanted the sound. No no no! I love my stealth car. Some of the most fun and enjoyable drives for me have been when it was raining and I had the radio turned off. The sound of nothing more than the wipers and the rain can be quite soothing.

    I was just saying that I can understand why a silent car is a concern. Since owning the Volt I have been taking an extra good look for oncoming cars and relying less on peripheral vision and sound when I cross a street because I do not want to be injured by a Volt…or even worse…a Prius! Ouch!