Detroit, Michigan – General Motors is working with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) to identify a safe level of sound to alert the blind and other pedestrians to the presence of near-silent electric and hybrid vehicles.
“We are confident electric vehicles can produce a safe and acceptable level of sound to alert blind pedestrians to their presence,” said John Paré, executive director of strategic initiatives at NFB. “We look forward to working with Chevrolet and GM to identify an appropriate sound that will alert pedestrians in the most effective and least disruptive way possible.”
Members of the NFB and engineers from GM began meeting earlier this year to understand the safety needs of pedestrians with respect to quiet vehicles. Several NFB members recently attended a demonstration of the pedestrian warning alert on a pre-production Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle driven at various speeds, evaluating the alert from the front, sides and rear of the car.
“We have significant background in the area of pedestrian alerts dating to our work on our first electric car, the EV1,” said chief engineer Andrew Farah. “The most important thing is to listen to the people who will interact with these vehicles in everyday life.”
About the National Federation of the Blind