Japanese Mull Noisier Hybrids to Protect Blind

Survey finds blind people are unnerved by silent vehicles
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2009 4:08 AM CDT
A reporter drives Toyota 's plug-in hybrid vehicle during a test run in Tokyo.   (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara)
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(Newser) – Japanese automakers are looking into ways to make their super-quiet hybrid cars a lot louder after more than half of blind people surveyed said they were terrified of the vehicles, AP reports. The automakers are considering equipping the vehicles with radar to sense pedestrians and make sounds like engine noises or a musical riff similar to a ringtone.