Are Hybrid Vehicles TOO Quiet?

While Hybrids can save you a substantial amount of money over the life of the vehicle, they do come with a few drawbacks. They are often small and have a limited range while running on full electric power, but does running almost completely silent present itself as a downside? According to many people it does and Lotus Engineering has designed a system to help reduce the worries associated with running silently.

So far there has been only a single accident that has been blamed on the silent nature of Hybrids. The incident resulted in no injuries, but it was more than enough to get some people thinking. In response to this, s new Toyota Prius has been outfitted with the new "Sound and Safe" system developed by the engineering arm of Lotus Automotive.

The kit uses a waterproof speaker mounted right above the radiator that, when active, will produce a sound similar to a V8 or Flat-6. The sound emitted is reliant on the speed and throttle position. When the 1.5 liter engine is powering the Prius, the speaker is turned off.


Depending on the reaction and success of the prototype, the technology could be expanded to many more of the upcoming Hybrids.

From : Autoblog , YouTube

Aug 18, 2008
by Anonymous

Worst idea ever...

Maybe they can also fit hybrids with scent and smoke emitters to make them stink like a big 'ole V8 truck too. Oh, here's another one, create a drip device to spew oil on the ground in parking lots! The possibilities are endless, keep up the great work! :P

Aug 18, 2008
by Anonymous

More attention needed, not more noise

Perhaps people, whether driving or walking, could LEARN TO BE AWARE OF THINGS AROUND THEM, both visual and aural, and to quit paying attention to cell phones, etc. Multitasking is great in many situations, but not when one needs to interact with other motorists/pedestrians.

Aug 25, 2008
by autooracle
autooracle's picture

Pedestrians are oblivious regardless of vehicle noise.

San Francisco, the land of the entitled pedestrian fully equipped with a sleeved latte will walk right in front of a fast moving cab driver with a green light before yielding.  Will this idea work?  Who knows.....

 I drive through San Francisco every morning, commuting in my old Ford Turbo.  If that old bucket with a whining turbo won't make you wait for the green symbol to cross the street, or prevent you from jay walking in front of a moving vehicle nothing will.

 When people fail to look at their surroundings before leaping off the curb....they will be thrown over the hood of any car....not just a hybrid. 

 I had a Prius rental for a few weeks while my car was in the shop.....A friendly toot jolted the attention of the one and only pedestrian that didn't hear me coming. 

Aug 27, 2008
by Anonymous

If people do not have the

If people do not have the money for a normal car or petrol, THEN CARS ARE NOT FOR THEM !