Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27
  1. #1
    Can't ride enough! Da Tinker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    south Louisiana
    My Bikes
    Fuji finest, Bianchi FG conversion
    Posts
    1,234
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Silent cars & the blind

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=7555520

    'Hybrid vehicles may pose a deadly threat to people who rely on their hearing to navigate streets and crosswalks. The National Federation of the Blind is calling for hybrid manufacturers to make their cars sound like traditional car engines, so that blind people can hear them coming.

    Robert Siegel talks to Dr. Fredric Schroeder, first vice president of the National Federation of the Blind.

    We confirmed the comparative noise levels of hybrid and gas-powered cars, using a Toyota Prius — one of the more popular models. Toyota officials say they are studying the issue; they also note that on the opposite side of the issue are advocates of reduced noise pollution.

    The Toyota officials say that the quieter cars has led them to advise drivers and pedestrians to exercise increased caution.'

    Never really had a problem with a hybrid car, but have been snuck up on by Honda Gold Wings. Perhaps this may be an issue for large bike clubs & advocacy groups to join with the blind on.
    Happiness begins with facing life with a smile & a wink.

  2. #2
    bragi bragi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    LHT
    Posts
    2,783
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm all for people for not being hit by cars, including the blind, and I myself make good use of the Doppler Effect while riding, but as one who lives less than two blocks from a freeway, I'm pushing for less auto noise, not more. I think once people get used to quieter cars, they'll adjust just fine.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  3. #3
    Can't ride enough! Da Tinker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    south Louisiana
    My Bikes
    Fuji finest, Bianchi FG conversion
    Posts
    1,234
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bragi
    I think once people get used to quieter cars, they'll adjust just fine.
    If you can, listen to the audio from NPR. They have a standard car passing and then a hybrid. Over the radio, I did not hear the hybrid. Quieter is one thing, nearly silent is another.
    Happiness begins with facing life with a smile & a wink.

  4. #4
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    19,672
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Not only the blind, but most pedestrians rely on hearing to detect traffic. And most bikes are silent too. That's why so many pedestrians seem to jump in front of us at crosswalks and on the MUPs.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  5. #5
    Conservative Hippie
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Wakulla Co. FL
    Posts
    4,271
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Easy way to solve the silence problem: Put an active IR sensor in the car that locks the brakes if something comes out in front of the car. Sliding tires make noise.

  6. #6
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Newton, MA
    Posts
    4,501
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    this is why, when riding my silent bicycle, I go vrrrrrooooom-vrrrrrroooooooom when passing pedestrians.

  7. #7
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    19,672
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The other day I said to a ped, "If I had a bell this is when I would ring it." It got a little chuckle.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  8. #8
    tired donnamb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    Breezer Uptown 8, U frame
    Posts
    5,660
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bragi
    I think once people get used to quieter cars, they'll adjust just fine.
    How does a blind person do that?

  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    san diego
    My Bikes
    custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
    Posts
    22,379
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bragi
    I'm all for people for not being hit by cars, including the blind, and I myself make good use of the Doppler Effect while riding, but as one who lives less than two blocks from a freeway, I'm pushing for less auto noise, not more. I think once people get used to quieter cars, they'll adjust just fine.
    I tend to agree... do we really have to add noise pollution... now that we have managed to reduce some of the other air pollution.

    I will admit that the cars are quite quiet, and I too was surprised by a hybrid a while back. But I don't think the answer is to make noise.

  10. #10
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On the road-USA
    My Bikes
    Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
    Posts
    15,854
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb
    How does a blind person do that?
    From my observations blind people typically have a more keen sense of hearing if you will. It may be once they acclimate themselves to fact there are near silent cars they may be more attuned to the sound of the tires? I dated a blind girl years ago and she could hear things that no one else in the room noticed. When riding in my car she noticed that something didn't sound right from the previous trip two weeks earlier, she was right the fan belt broke that night I know in some cities that crossing lights have sounds on them to let the blind know when it is supposedly safe to cross.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  11. #11
    N_C
    N_C is offline
    Banned. N_C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Bannation, forever.
    Posts
    2,887
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I thought it was the noise of the tires on the pavement they listened for, not the sound of the motor. I own a brand new vehicle, not a hybrid, but it has a very quiet engine, because it is new. I'd venture to say it would not be heard either like a hybrid would not be heard.

    When I ride bike I listen for & only hear the sound of the tires on the pavement, not the sound of the motor. Often time I do not hear the motor at all or if I do it is not until the vehicle is right beside me as it passes. Yet I know the vehicle is there from the sound of the tires on the pavement.
    Last edited by N_C; 02-27-07 at 12:30 PM.

  12. #12
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Still in Santa Barbara
    My Bikes
    Catrike Pocket, Lightning Thunderbold recumbent, Trek 3000 MTB.
    Posts
    4,920
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    They came out with quieter tires at one point, too, but also declared them to be too dangerous because they were too quiet. Perhaps if all the other cars weren't so noisy you could hear the quieter ones. Maybe Priuses should have a bike bell on them.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  13. #13
    Conservative Hippie
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Wakulla Co. FL
    Posts
    4,271
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Tire noise is a good point. Particularly at night I can hear a car coming from hundreds of yards away because of the tire and wind noise, but the majority of my riding is on 55-60 mph speed limit highways. It isn't the same in town. One thing I have noticed is the sound of one car can mask that of another, effectively making the second car silent. This can be disconcerting when the second car is the one coming from behind.

    Maybe we should make'em all run Ground Hawgs


    or Super Swampers


    You can hear these babies singin' from way off.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    158
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    yes.. i agree.. the blind people driving the silent cars are a huge danger to me as a cyclist. I can't say that i'm any less afraid of the blind people driving the noisy cars though. Hey, if they can't see you... it doesn't matter what they are driving if it's bigger than a bike.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Near Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    Three road bikes. Two track bikes.
    Posts
    9,317
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I own a Prius. I would very much dislike it if I had to have a noisemaker on my car. Quiet = efficient. I kind of like the idea of my car not making extraneous noise.

    And the tire thing. Again, quiet = efficient. I'd be all for more efficient tires on cars. Saves gas.

    I sympathize with the blind. It would be extremely hard to navigate the world with only hearing and touch as guidance. But putting a noisemaker on every hybrid (or electric) vehicle on the road to help a very small percentage of the population is stupid. Pardon the expression. I don't think I've passed an intersection with a blind person waiting to cross in my entire life. If I have, I can count it on a single hand - and I didn't hit him or her either. There's got to be a better way to do this.

    Just how big of a problem is this, and does it justify modifying (eventually) every one of the ~200-300 million cars on the road in the US to solve this problem? Perhaps, instead of putting clackers on all cars in the future (all models of cars are eventually going to be hybridized or electrified and thus be silent - give it another 10 years), we can use this issue to improve pedestrian crossings for all pedestrians. Plenty of fully sighted and hearified pedestrians get killed at intersection crossings every year, and all of these people could use some relief.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  16. #16
    New! With Self Loathing! scottmorrison99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fairfield, California
    My Bikes
    2013 Jamis Xenith T time trial bike, 2013 Jamis Xenith Elite
    Posts
    1,618
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    Maybe Priuses should have a bike bell on them.
    Airzound.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Near Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    Three road bikes. Two track bikes.
    Posts
    9,317
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by scottmorrison99
    Airzound.
    Horn??...
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  18. #18
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Near Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    Three road bikes. Two track bikes.
    Posts
    9,317
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'll add that the type of noise maker to make the low frequency rumbling of an internal combustion engine requires a lot of power to produce (think of the power consumption of a speaker system, tweeters consume little power while base consume a lot). Putting a noisemaker on the axle of any car to produce this low frequency noise will involve a significant penalty in overall vehicle efficiency. Using a higher frequency will just be drowned out by background noise and will not have the effect that the association for the blind want.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  19. #19
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Down on East End Avenue.
    My Bikes
    Salsa Las Cruces, Burley R&R and a boat load of others.
    Posts
    1,815
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The electric buses in Seattle used to startle the heck out of me and I can see.

  20. #20
    one word, not two braingel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    se portland
    Posts
    825
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I rely pretty heavily on sound to decide how much I need to slow down approaching an intersction. Sometimes I joke about being struck down by a Prius.
    Quote Originally Posted by redneckwes
    Road bikes seem to live in packs. Even if they don't have riders, they do gather in groups. They spend a lot of time standing around, looking for $$ to be thrown at them

  21. #21
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    Mercian King, Tommasini Tecno, Peugeot Fixie, Gitane Tandem, Bridgestone MB-4, Homebuilt Human Powered Truck, franken-1900's style roadster
    Posts
    49
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    I own a Prius. I would very much dislike it if I had to have a noisemaker on my car. Quiet = efficient. I kind of like the idea of my car not making extraneous noise.

    And the tire thing. Again, quiet = efficient. I'd be all for more efficient tires on cars. Saves gas.
    Most high gas mileage tires are really noisy due to super stiff sidewalls.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    south jersey
    Posts
    1,205
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ? how much noise does a bicycle(ist) make in comparison to a prius or insight?
    A) the same, more or less...
    -feel, see, hear, "taste" sometimes, and smell where/when you're riding.
    air-zound if needed.
    electric (or) human powered vehicles may be on an up-swing!
    look out, here i go, beep-beep!

  23. #23
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    My Bikes
    Custom Winter, Challenge Seiran SL, Fuji Team Pro, Cattrike Road/Velokit, РOS hybrid
    Posts
    10,266
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb
    How does a blind person do that?
    It's called "space perception". You can generally estimate the size, position, and composition of objects based on the sounds they reflect. For example curbs reflect a certain kind of noise, humans create a certain hole in the noise because they absorb sound etc.

    This is not BS. I lived with a totally blind person for over 6 years and developed this skill myself even though I am sighted. It is actually easy to do, but most sighted people tend to ignore obvious sound cues. A Prius is hard to hear in a noisy environment, but a parked car that that you're walking by in a quiet environment is easy to hear. You won't know the make and model, but you'll be able to guess that you're next to a large, smooth, solid object that is probably a car. Anyone who thinks I'm full of it might constantly honk their horn for safety
    Last edited by banerjek; 02-28-07 at 10:36 PM.

  24. #24
    tired donnamb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    Breezer Uptown 8, U frame
    Posts
    5,660
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey, its sounds like you would know.

  25. #25
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    The Cracker Factory
    Posts
    24,354
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman
    this is why, when riding my silent bicycle, I go vrrrrrooooom-vrrrrrroooooooom when passing pedestrians.
    It's been proven in 97.2% of all test cases that ZOOM ZOOM is more recognized.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •