By on November 25, 2009

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18 Comments on “The Volt’s Blind Taste Test...”

  • avatar

    The first thing I thought of: 

    • 0 avatar

      I particularly liked the manner in which the video quickly cuts to obligatory shots of small children/Mom&Dad&smallchildren. Which had absolutely nothing to do with nothing. Much like the entire video.
      And they cut out the money shot of the blind guy driving. Well, I guess they figured he wasn’t going to see it so why bother leaving it in.

  • avatar

    …we want it to be, ah, more of a pleasant sound…

  • avatar

    They need different versions of that horn for blind people from different ethnic groups: one with a Hispanic accent, another with a Vietnamese accent, etc. I’m sure they can figure out the necessary ethnic face recognition software.

  • avatar

    How about putting playing cards in the wheel spokes, like we used to do with bikes.  A lot cheaper.
    Also: Can you imagine driving through a busy parking lot, with everyone giving you the finger for honking at them? Fail.

  • avatar

    Somehow GM’s implementation of this safety concept by applying weak voltage to a cheap horn seems rather pathetic in a $40K car…. pathetic and typical.

    Nissan’s electric car will “ emit a ‘beautiful and futuristic’ noise similar to the sound of flying cars — or “spinners” — that buzz around 2019 Los Angeles in Ridley Scott’s dystopian thriller based on a Philip K. Dick science fiction novel.
    “We decided that if we’re going to do this, if we have to make sound, then we’re going to make it beautiful and futuristic,” Toshiyuki Tabata, Nissan’s noise and vibration expert, told Bloomberg. “We wanted something a bit different, something closer to the world of art.” 

    Whereas the Volt will sound like a worn-out Chevy with a worn-out horn.

  • avatar

    If it’s to help the blind why do the headlights flash?

    • 0 avatar

      Not all legally blind people are totally blind.  A flash of the headlights will aid those with very limited sight, in the same way the center-high brake light is supposed to help other motorists.
      I think they’re doing a good thing here.  And the worn-out Chevy horn sound won’t matter if it reduces pedestrian injuries, which could just as easily occur with sighted pedestrians.  At the college near me, the diesel buses are nearly silent upon approach, and several students are hit each year since they can’t hear them approaching.

  • avatar

    I have come around to thinking that the entire premise is entirely flawed.  The discussion over what noises a quiet EV should make remind me of all the obsolete motoring laws that have been written about from the early 20th century.  Things like an automobile must sound a horn prior to overtaking another car (because cars didn’t have mirrors yet), and other laws written to prevent horses from being spooked by early cars.  They’re entirely laughable nowadays because technology has been accepted and progressed.  So it will with electric cars.
    You read it here first: “quiet” cars should emit a distinct RF signature to be picked up by bluetooth-like devices worn by individuals affected by the lack of noise.  Cheap to bake in, entirely transparent to the non-affected, limited to close range, and easy for the disabled to incorporate.

  • avatar

    Already working on the next generation of technologies? This white elephant cant even be seen in a Chevy showroom and they have been working on it for how many years? Another GM dog and pony show. “Hey, look, were doing SOMETHING!”

  • avatar

    After thirty years of working for G.M. and numerous G.M. vehicles for my personal use I don’t believe anyone will have to worry about the blind or any other pedestrian since this vehicle will most likely not be available until 2015 or later and will be another quality nightmare. You will not see many on the road. Flex fuel was G.M.’s big bet and that was a flop and now plug in electrics, these will cause more pollution using power plants to re-charge them than using an economical gas vehicle(another flop) G.M. completely missed the SMALL CAR HYBRID SEGMENT OF THE CAR MARKET that Toyota , Honda, and  Ford are cashing in on. If G.M. can’t design a small hybrid themselves they should copy the Prius and call it the “Copy-Kat II” (two door) and the “Copy-Kat 2+2” (four door) What a joke!!!!

  • avatar

    “It’s never to early to get input when it comes to what you should be working toward, and so doing this now is probably just about the right time.”

    On the Volt’s development timeline, finalizing the Pedestrian Friendly Alert System comes before allowing test drives in range-extension mode. Sounds about right. I expect to see a plugs-out wiper test any day now, with a Door Ajar chime test by late January. I hope they can squeeze in some unregulated, public test drives before it ships.

  • avatar

    Is it my imagination, or is this biggest piece of touchy-feely bull$hit PR ever created to further ingratiate this still-born piece of crap to the Ed Begleys/Obamanauts of the world?

    What a truly sad example of Hail Mary PR and a misuse of technology.

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    Sorry to put a positive slant on something that seems to provoke one’s inner snark, but I think this is a good and welcome initiative of GM.
    At the present time, there is no danger from quiet cars but if they became a popular phenomenon in the future, then GM would be negligent to disregard the issue.
    Kudos to them for investigating a warning sound that differs from the rude honk that is overused by so many drivers who spend too much time in their isolated metal cages.

  • avatar

    La cucaracha, la cucaracha!

  • avatar
    Kyle Schellenberg

    Kudos to them for investigating a warning sound that differs from the rude honk that is overused by so many drivers who spend too much time in their isolated metal cages.
    Depends where you are I guess.  In Asia, the horn is used for it’s intended purpose to let cars and people nearby aware of your presence.  Drivers use them constantly and it never seems inappropriate.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “now plug in electrics, these will cause more pollution using power plants to re-charge them than using an economical gas vehicle”

    The pollution created to generate the electricity needed to recharge a plug-in is so much lower than even the most efficient gas vehicle that it’s not even worth mentioning. The other beauty of a plug-in is most will be re-charged overnight which is when utility companies have all kinds of excess capacity. Ever wonder why they ask you to do laundry and run dishwashers at night? 

    The next generation Prius will without a doubt be a plug-in. Kudos to GM for rasing the bar with Volt versus merely copying the Prius.

    There has already been once accident involving  a Prius that made the news where I live. It was due to how quiet it is while runnning in EV mode only. Good initiative by GM. 


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