The EU has been talking for years about requiring pedestrian alert noises on electric cars and hybrids, and some vehicles already do. In the future, however, those warning systems will be mandatory. The European Parliament has backed a proposal that would require sound-making hardware in new electric vehicles by July 2019. The European Commission would lock down the final rules by July 2017. Whether or not you’re a fan of the potential regulation, gas-powered vehicles aren’t being let off the hook.
The discussion over whether electric vehicles should come with warning sounds has been going on for what feels like forever – seriously, it’s been so long we’ve forgotten amazing little tidbits like this – but that doesn’t mean the whole thing is solved. While the US has required EVs to emit a generated noise at low speeds since 2011, Europe only been discussing a similar system, the “Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems” (AVAS) all these years. This week, the European Parliament made a decision. By 2019, automakers in Europe will need to have their EVs emit a sound to alert blind (and, we suppose, the smart-phone-addicted) pedestrians to their presence.