With everyone treating the Toyota Prius like the iPod of the automotive industry and as auto makers rush to get hybrids out on the market, it seems like not everyone is green-happy.
Hybrids are under attack by the blind who say that hybrids are way to quiet at slower speeds posing a threat to those who rely on getting along by hearing whether or not it’s safe to cross the street.
“I’m used to being able to get sound cues from my environment and negotiate accordingly. I hadn’t imagined there was anything I really wouldn’t be able to hear,” said Deborah Kent Stein, chairwoman of the U.S. National Federation of the Blind’s Committee on Automotive and Pedestrian Safety told The Associated Press. “We did a test, and I discovered, to my great dismay, that I couldn’t hear it.”
The tests, which are said to be unscientific, were conducted by blind people standing in parking lots or on sidewalks; they were instructed to signal when they heard several different hybrid models drive by.
“People were making comments like, ‘When are they going to start the test?’ And it would turn out that the vehicle had already done two or three laps around the parking lot,” Stein said.
Not that we’re heartless here at eGMCarTech but that statement a little too unrealistic.
An advocacy group consisting of 1.3 million legally blind people in the United States – have reportedly made pleas to the auto industry, with little success so far.
Toyota is one of the few auto makers who has spoken out about the problem. Spokeman Bill Kwong said that Toyota is studying the issue internally.
We doubt it’ll big problem unless blind people start driving hybrids whle blind people are crossing the street.
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