I don't know if this is a good thing, or a bad thing, but it looks like we've reached the point where a law needs to be enacted so cars don't get too quiet! I thought it would be something opposite, like trying to put a limit on how loud those V8 muscle go! So yea, the bill is expected to be presented to the U.S. House of Representatives pretty soon.
AutoWeek reported that the reason why this bill was created is because cars that are too quiet pose a risk to disabled (primarily) pedestrians. This bill requires the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to undergo studies in order to determine whether or not a minimum sound level is needed. I understand the intention behind this bill and all, but I find it kind of humorous if auto makers were forced to make their engines go VROOM! More after the jump...
I remember reading an article over at AutoBlog about a sports car by Fisker Karma that'll have speakers placed inside and outside of the car to replicate engine sounds! This is definitely a logical solution, and would be fun to see how people hack their cars to make them sound like a Mr. Softee Ice Cream truck! Others would argue that speaker generated sounds would never be the same as a real engine, but I'd prefer cars that are a bit more earth-friendly than a 400HP V10 engine in a pickup truck.
As I was writing this, I just thought about what it could be like in the future. Imagine stepping out of your house and you see a lot of cars rolling down the block with barely a trace of sound. Maybe it's a generational difference, but I think I would need psychological help if that were to happen now. In the future, when it has already become a "standard," I guess people wouldn't have as much of an issue - especially if the cars are loaded with a killer speaker system that tells people to get the heck out the way!
I'm curious as to how this is going to turn out. If this bill passes into a law, automakers are gonna have to comply as early as 2010! That shouldn't be a problem as there aren't too many hybrids on the road (unfortunately!).