Bye-bye, backup beep.
In Trump administration's continued push for deregulation across the board, one safety feature in particular may be eliminated from all electrified vehicles moving forward. Hybrid and electric cars would no longer be required to have installed noise alerts warning nearby pedestrians of their presence.
According to Bloomberg, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is considering six areas for deregulation in an effort to cut the budget. The noise policy would be one of those areas, but a final decision has yet to be made.
The requirement, which was mandated by congress in 2010, stated that the hybrid and electric vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds (4,535 kilograms) were required install noise emitting devices at speeds of up to 19 miles per hour (30 kilometers per hour). At low speeds, the electrified vehicles in question could cause safety hazards for pedestrians, especially the blind. The NHTSA estimated that the warning would prevent nearly 2,400 pedestrian injuries per year at full implementation.
The rule was finalized last December, but the Trump administration has moved the effective date from February until September. General Motors, Toyota, VW, Ford, and others automakers reportedly petitioned the NHTSA for added flexibility. Each alert system costs about $130 per hybrid, and $55 per electric vehicle, a cost that adds up as more companies continue to roll out electrified vehicles.
"This looks like to me that the agency was trying to figure out what things they didn’t really need and what things really aggravated the manufacturers," said former NHTSA administrator Joan Claybrook. "But I do think the agency does have the obligation to explain these things when they take effect."