By on June 21, 2010

Possibly not, says the National Federation For the Blind. According to the NYT the group is

disappointed that the [Nissan Leaf’s] driver is permitted to turn off the sound because it in effect, allows drivers to deactivate this important safety feature and thereby endanger pedestrians, especially those who are blind.

Interestingly, Tesla’s IPO presentation opens with a customer describing the contrast between Corvettes “making all that noise” and Teslas which allow the driver to “hear the birds and the ocean.” With the Motor Vehicle Safety Act likely to mandate NHTSA rules on EV safety noises, expect that marketing angle to go the way of the PeaPod…

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4 Comments on “If A Leaf Drives In The Forest, Can A Blind Person Hear It?...”

  • avatar

    If A Leaf Drives In The Forest, Can A Blind Person Hear It?

    Only if a tree falls on it.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    Perhaps the Leaf in Nissan Leaf is short for Leaf-blower.

  • avatar

    “The sounds, generated by a synthesizer under the hood with a speaker in the front driver’s side wheel well, range from 2.5 kHz at the high end of the spectrum to 600 Hz at the bottom. They do not notably intrude into the cabin.”

    That’s the funny thing about those newfangled electronical dealybobbers, they’re so fragile and prone to having their wires spontaneously get cut.

    Dang, guess the speaker quit on me. Oh well, not really worth taking it into the dealership for. Guess I’ll keep driving it.

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