You heard it before. It’s about the electric or hybrid car that nobody hears coming. Representatives of blind people have complained several times that these new cars need to get noisier to alert cyclists and pedestrians about their proximity and movement. Toyota recognized the problem, and came up with an answer.
It’s a option in Japan, offered at 12.600 yens, about $150. It makes the Prius sound like a spaceship, or some kind of a turbocharged vacuum cleaner. I guess Toyota engineers have chosen the most natural noise you could expect from an electric drive system, but the silent driving of an electric at low speed was a strong selling point for many.
I’m not sure this option will be successful, and I guess Toyota isn’t either. There’s no word about this option being available outside Japan, but maybe regulations will impose it… What do you think?