Talk:Electric vehicle warning sounds

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Good article Electric vehicle warning sounds has been listed as one of the Engineering and technology good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
January 14, 2011 Good article nominee Listed
August 9, 2013 Good article reassessment Kept
Did You Know
Current status: Good article
WikiProject Automobiles (Rated GA-class, Low-importance)
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Universal view[edit]

First, when you do split an article like this, you need to leave a tag in the main article for purposes of acknowledgment of the authors there. I will do it for you. Second, I do not think the article has enough notability if you do it only about the Nissan Leaf. The Chevrolet Volt will have one too, and other automakers are experimenting and will follow, so it makes more sense a general or universal article about warning sounds for HEVs, PHEVs and BEVS, something like "Warning sounds in hybrid and plug-in electric cars" (It is too long, but it is a first attempt). This can be fix later by changing the article name. While waiting for other opinions I will add some material that I had edited in the Leaf's article, but removed later because someone complaint of undue weight.-Mariordo (talk) 01:46, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Well from the splitter, I think its an OK idea to have it a general view (though as you sort of alluded it might be hard not to have a convoluted name at this time). - Epson291 (talk) 09:19, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
I went ahead and restructured it for a generalized article (I tried for a generalized name). I agree it will be good as more car companies come out with their own sounds. - Epson291 (talk) 09:56, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
I looks great, including the name you choose. I have read about other carmakers experimenting with warning sound, I will Google and bring here any relevant material.-Mariordo (talk) 11:55, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, I look forward to reading it. - Epson291 (talk) 12:35, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Potential expansion[edit]

  • The new sources of today's edits have more details if you are up to expanding. My next edit (but you can go ahead if yo want to) is to expand in the history section with details of the 2008 Univiversity of California Riverside research here and what it seems a 2009 follow-up here and The Economist source already in the article. Otherwise, I will try to edit using these sources during the weekend. There is also some material about the Fisker Karma and a sound system developed by the UK firm Lotus Engineering (both are mentioned in The Economist article - I have access, so I will work on them later).---Mariordo (talk) 04:30, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Sounds at Traffic Lights?[edit]

Do these cars make sounds when stopped at traffic lights too? 116.240.160.72 (talk) 05:26, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

When they start up because the warning is activated when running at speeds lower than 25 kph (if the driver has it activated, so far all models are manually set on/off).-Mariordo (talk) 01:17, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Driveby notes from GAN[edit]

I came here from GAN, and was quite puzzled to see the subject presented as a novel phenomenon. I grew up in the 70s to the quiet whisper of trolleybuses, and the same complaints about "noiseless killers" existed then as they exist today. Perhaps, short of writing a lengthy history section, the article title and the lead must be explicitly changed to reflect actual content: it's about the recent generation of small electric passenger cars (not buses, not trucks, etc.) and only about the North American market.

As for GAN itself, I don't think that such a narrow-focused look at the subject can stand GAN scrutiny. More complaints:

  • Lead - expand per WP:LEAD. Include an explicit roundup of present-day legal status: does the law mandate EV noismakers, anywhere? Does any state contemplate such mandatory measures? If not, make it clear that this is all about voluntary action, cover-your-ass, etc. by the manufacturers.
  • Text - needs a thorough, word-by-word copyedit for cohesion, flow and common sense. Take the very first sentence:
As a result of increase sales of hybrid electric vehicles in several countries, 
there have been concerns about the noise reduction when those vehicles operate in all-electric mode, 
as blind people or the visually impaired consider the noise of combustion engines a helpful 
aid while crossing streets and feel quiet hybrids could pose an unexpected hazard.[1]
    • Hybrid, but not electric? Why? [this applies to North American market too, there was the EV1, trolleybuses in SF and Boston...
    • "increase" = "increased"? or "an increase in..." ?
    • Perhaps it's about increased usage not increased sales? Sales don't kill by themselves. And there's always some lag between sales and deaths. I know what you wanted to say, but it needs a different form.
    • "there have been concerns" [by whom?] The whole sentence makes an [unwanted?] impression that someone speaks concerns related to blind people without first talking to them...
    • "about the noise reduction" - can't reduce what doesn't exist. No pistons, no intakes, no mufflers... (or did you mean "all-electric" = "electric but with petrol engine on?")
    • "blind people or the visually impaired consider the noise of combustion engines" - people with more or less normal eyesight do it, too. All of them. The difference between normal and blind people is that for the blind hearing is not "a helpful aid", it's their first and practically only sense that helps with traffic. It's not a question of what they consider, - they have no choice.
    • Back to blind-vs-normal: try locating statistic on electric bus accidents. I have seen such numbers from the 60s and 70s and - guess what - the number of blind casualties was exactly zero. Yes, an individual blind person crossing the street is always in a greated danger than a normal person, but the society as a whole paid with the lives of quite normal people.
    • Source: There have been plenty of scholarly studies of "pedestrian sensory reaction to traffic", "orientation of blind people in the city" etc. There are whole university departments for the blind. Sure there are better sources than USA Today?

I'd suggest taking the article off GAN, and recruiting more help in content, style and sourcing departments.

Cheers, East of Borschov 12:32, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for your feedback. I will be working on the improvements bit by bit. Nevertheless I do disagree on your view that the article refers only to North America, Japan is also mentioned, and there are several sources from university level research, the sources are not limited to newspapers.-Mariordo (talk) 07:54, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Electric vehicle warning sounds/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Miss Madeline | Talk to Madeline 22:48, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

I will be reviewing this article for GA status, and will have a full review up shortly.

Great, I will be taking care of your suggestions and requests, but I want to let you know that I am on vacation until next Monday, and juggling with a couple of ongoing GAs, so I will be attending your requests in a piecemeal fashion at first. I expect to respond more timely after I return from my vacation. Thanks.--Mariordo (talk) 23:08, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
With that in mind, I will start the one week waiting period on January 10. Miss Madeline | Talk to Madeline 23:24, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Thank you very much, I really appreciate your understanding.--Mariordo (talk) 23:34, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

The article looks pretty good overall. However, there are a few issues which lead me to place this on hold:

A large number of the cites are to blogs or press releases. This inevitably will cause questions of RS to arise. With this in mind, the best way to resolve this issue would be to cite blogs sparingly and only when necessary. I am willing to accept some blog citations, for example, one much-cited blog is from the New York Times, and it could be argued that since the NYT vets its bloggers, it would be more reliable than _____'s blog. So basically, are all cited blogs reliable?

Please see this discussion regarding the common use of blogs in auto related articles. Besides the NYT, other reliable blogs published by organizations (not self published individuals) include Autoblog/AutoblogGreen (same organization), Edmunds.com InsideLine, HybridCars.com and PluginCars.com. It is my understanding that these "blogs" produce content that can be use as a reliable source keeping in mind the spirit of RS policies, sound judgment and considering the obvious exceptions, such as readers comments, opinion pieces and speculative content. The extensive use of these non conventional reliable sources is due to the fact that information regarding hybrids and plug-in electric vehicles and other automotive advanced technologies has been evolving too fast since 2006-07 and the latest developments are only found in newspapers, specialized magazines, and this serious blogs (of course after filtering what is not RS according to WP). I would like to suggest to flag those specific instances in which a citation is not in agreement with RS principles to look for an alternative source.--Mariordo (talk) 23:08, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
That discussion indicates that there is a consensus for Autoblog et al as RS, so long as they are used carefully. This alleviates my concerns. Miss Madeline | Talk to Madeline 18:52, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

As mentioned in the article, the problem of "vehicle quietness" is not limited to electric cars. Has there been any use of these devices for gasoline cars? There is no need for a ICE vehicle warning sounds, as any info on that could easily be placed here, perhaps with a renaming (eg vehicle warning sounds).

Yes, I tried to provide a comprehensive background, but the intended scope of the article is limited to the risks created when gasoline-electric hybrids and plug-in electric cars operate in electric mode (EV mode) and are too quite to be heard at low speeds. To the best of my knowledge the only similar situation (but different context and technology solution - it does not use digital sounds) is in the case of internal combustion engine vehicles that emit a beeping warning sound when performing a back up maneuver (this is a built-in manufacturer feature pretty standard these days around the world). For the sake of completeness I can look for a RS to make the parallel and the origin of any existing regulation for this case (in the background section). I do not think that a renaming is required considering the intended scope.--Mariordo (talk) 01:01, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Thank you. Miss Madeline | Talk to Madeline 03:23, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

I agree that renaming isn't necessary. Vehicle reverse noises aren't electric vehicle warning sounds per se, so adding info on that is your call. Miss Madeline | Talk to Madeline 18:52, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Haviong looked at the sources, I believe that they are reliable enough for use in WP. Hence, this article meets the GA criteria and I am therefore promoting it.

As for suggestions for further improvement, please continue to update the article as new versions/applications/vehicle appear. During this GAN the article was updated to indicate that the applicable US legislation had been signed into law. In other words, keep on maintaining the article and keeping it up to date. Miss Madeline | Talk to Madeline 06:00, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Astonishing lack of peer-reviewed evidence[edit]

Amongst the 65 references currently given in this article there is not a single peer-reviewed reference - instead it relies on newspaper reports, blogs, and press releases that seem to be feeding on each other.

It is not surprising that the topic is endlessly blogged and reported on - it is an easy interesting story. However, I haven't noticed much (any?) consideration of issues such as:

  • Are bicycles just as dangerously silent as electric cars? Note that being rear-ended at 20 kph by a helmeted 100 kg bike rider is not trivial for a pedestrian. (Note also that there are huge variations in the noise of different gear trains, e.g. compare coasting on Campagnolo vs Shimano components.)
  • What are the ramifications for pedestrian / bicyclist safety of creating an environment in which 99.9% of the time (but not 100%) pedestrians can rely on hearing to determine whether it is safe to step on the road? (In my experience as a cyclist it is very dangerous to rely on hearing.)
  • Could children growing up in such an environment be taught to habitually look over their shoulder, to guard them when earphones or ambient noise make relying on vehicle noise too dangerous?
  • What can be inferred from pedestrian accident statistics for visitors from a drive-on-the-right country visiting a drive-on-the-left country and vice versa? (I think most tourists have had the experience of putting a foot on the road as you feel a car whoosh by frighteningly close from the opposite direction you instinctively expected.)
  • Instead of attempting to ensure that noise-makers are added to every vehicle and trying to ensure that no driver or cyclist has disabled noise makers, would it be safer and cheaper to equip blind pedestrians with hand-held radar devices?
  • How expensive will it be to maintain noise-makers so that they remain 100% reliable but do not cause highways in future decades to be needlessly noisy?
  • Is it likely that some of the controversy is generated by individuals with vested interests in petrol engines who want to make hybrids less attractive? I'll assume good faith of wp-ians, but not of Big Oil.

Imho, I think that an optimal resolution of some of these issues is likely to be counter-intuitive to what has been commonly supposed, and that a science/engineering-based peer-reviewed approach will be essential to establishing the actual facts. Although a blind person is obviously best-placed and entitled to describe their perception of danger and their comfort level, by definition they are poorly placed to judge actual relative dangers such as the avoidance behaviour of various vehicles. If wp has made a long article that is actually based on 65 blogs, then I think we have to make it clear that, re policy recommendations, we have only reported on the zeitgeist, rather than reported on any properly conducted engineering.

I apologise if this section constitutes original research. If it offends anyone, I'll whack it into a blog and then quote it in the main article instead, along with all the others.

And sorry, but the basis for promoting this article to GA is self-evidently disturbingly self-referential. Repeating from two paragraphs before this section, the sentence

Haviong looked at the sources, I believe that they are reliable enough for use in WP. Hence, this article meets the GA criteria and I am therefore promoting it.

consists of "belief" -> "hence" -> "therefore". I don't think that wp should rely on belief. Just because other motoring articles have relied on blogs does not mean that this article should. This article could influence important policy decisions that will save or cost lives. So we need to make it clear that any conclusions in the article are only based on unsubstantiated opinion.

BenevolentUncle (talk) 06:53, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Ooops, I apologise - e.g. I missed "Incidence of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crashes by Hybrid Electric Passenger Vehicles". National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. September 2009. And there are other reasonably rigorous reports. I'll have to undo some of my complaints, including suggesting a GA review. Blush. BenevolentUncle (talk) 02:21, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

BenevolentUncle. Thanks for let me know about the GA reassess. I am astonished by your lack of understanding of what a reliable source is. More than half of Wikipedia would have to be deleted by your criteria. NOT every source has to be peer review, that is a high requirement for scientific content, and particularly for recent scientific findings and controversial issues, like global warming. Most references for automobile related articles used indeed newspapers, specialized magazines and you need to know the difference between a common blog and specialized sites with editorial board that cover news and allow comments. I will detail further in the GA reassess page very soon.--Mariordo (talk) 02:32, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for reconsidering. Cheers.--Mariordo (talk) 02:51, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Ummm, the reason for my agitation about this article was that as a cyclist on a whisper-quiet bike, I experience the same types of problems that hybrid drivers would experience, yet I find it easy enough to avoid collisions. (As it turns out, looking at cited sources, the research backs up my impression: hybrid drivers found that when they are travelling straight ahead they don't have extra crashes, although extra vigilance is required.) The first few sources I looked at were only reporting anecdotal fears and not hard evidence, and the first one with scientific credibility (i.e. The Scientific American) reported in Aug 2009 that there was no hard evidence that hybrids actually cause an increase in crashes. (I initially missed the Sep 2009 report that showed a doubling of pedestrian crashes when reversing/parking etc.) Scanning down the ref list showed lots of blogs and press releases and newspaper articles, so I assumed (wuh!) that such populist sources was why the article was fundamentally flawed, and I prematurely called for a GA review. What I missed were that these blogs were simply reporting the factual additions of warning devices to various models, for which they are RS. I.e. I accept that blogs are RS for details of car model features; I continue to maintain that higher standards of RS are needed for distinguishing the actual facts of safety issues from anecdotal impressions, but I concede that there is at least one such RS. What I should have done was first attempt to fix up the article - sorry everyone. This I hope I have now done, by adding the clarification that the only extra actual hybrid/pedestrian crashes appear to be when reversing / parking etc.

I remain concerned that I have yet to see any rigorous studies attempting the issue of whether overall safety is improved or worsened by installing warning sounds - if people don't learn to look, then they are at risk when sound fails to warn.

BenevolentUncle (talk) 03:42, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

I recently bought a hybrid that has the warning system. At low speeds even with the digital sounds, pedestrians in general do not seem aware of the car presence. The difference with a bike is that the car's mass is significantly greater and so, the consequences of a hit are much more serious than hitting a pedestrian with a bike. Regardless of the body of research (the article presents all of the ones I am aware of) the fact is that legislation is being enacted in all the countries with significant fleets of hybrids. It is a shame, particularly of all-electric cars, to forced warning noises when the lack of noise was supposed to one of the benefits of EVs. Nevertheless, we are bound to NPOV and RS, as the article aims to reflect. --Mariordo (talk) 04:00, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
fwiw, many cars have low bonnets and sloping windshields (which deform gracefully upon impact) and are engineered with considerations of being crash-friendly to pedestrians. By contrast, a large cyclist on a skinny wheeled dropped-handlebar bike could have their neck-muscle-tensed helmet head butting a pedestrian's spine above the pedestrian's centre of gravity. i.e. imho, I suspect that re pedestrians being hit from behind at less than 20 kph, aerodynamic hybrids may be less damaging than road-bikes. BenevolentUncle (talk) 03:52, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

Domino's Pizza Scooters[edit]

Domino's Pizza has these electric delivery scooters in the Netherlands. Why aren't these mentioned in the article? 76.97.233.222 (talk) 04:14, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

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