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EU rules may mean silent electric cars must make Star Wars noises - Times Online

The vision of tranquil modern cities, with inhabitants gliding by silently in electric cars, may be shattered by European plans to introduce artificial warning sounds to the new generation of zero-emission vehicles.
Each manufacturer may be permitted to provide its own “signature tune”, with the regulation simply setting a minimum volume to prevent pedestrians, cyclists and especially blind people from stepping into the path of battery-powered cars.
Some manufacturers are likely to opt for an engine noise while others are considering adopting the noises of spacecraft from science fiction films, such as the podracers from Star Wars.

The first bubble car which plays The Ride of the Valkyries gets my order...


For this to make sense, it will first be necessary to make it a criminal offence to cross the road or cycle, while listening to an iPod.

Secondly, there is clear discrimination against the deaf. New laws will be required on vehicle colours: prohibition of grey, light blue and off-white being early requirements; black cars should not be allowed on the roads at night; white cars should not be used from snowfall to thaw.

The continuing requirement for exhaust baffles should be reviewed, as should the use of sound insulation on the insides of engine compartments.

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