Prius Gets Louder To Protect Pedestrians
It’s hard not to be shocked by how quiet a Prius is once it’s switched over to running on electric at low speeds. There is virtually no sound coming from the car, which should make it no surprise that hybrid vehicles suffered from higher percentages of being involved in a low speed pedestrian accident compared to gas-powered vehicles. When you’re crossing the road or walking along it, you rely just as much on your ears as you do your sight. Having a car on the road that makes no sound can make roads more dangerous, which is why Toyota is offering a speaker system that makes a whirring sound.
The whirring sound is meant to sound similar in volume to a normal car engine. It’s becoming available in Japan for the newest Prius and will also be offered for any new hybrids from Toyota. You can buy the system for about $150. I’m not sure if a whole lot of drivers will be rushing out to spend the money after they’ve already bought the car. Just like how you never remember you need new wiper blades until it’s raining, it’d take a close call to get a lot of people motivated enough. However, if they already have it installed on the car I imagine it’d make drivers feel better. It would put a bit of a damper on your day if you accidentally hit someone.