The proposed NHTSA rule comes after concerns were raised about hybrid vehicles being too quiet. Currently, hybrid vehicles do not produce enough sound to alert pedestrians, bicyclists, or the visually impaired.
The new rule would require the vehicle to produce a sound that could be heard from a safe distance away. It is aimed at helping reduce injuries and accidents involving hybrid vehicles.
The proposed rule would allow the car manufacturers to determine the sounds their vehicles are equipped with. A sampling of proposed sounds are available on the NHTSA website.
In Apr. 2012, Domino's in the Netherlands added sounds to their delivery scooters. The company wanted to improve safety for their delivery drivers and alert passersby of the vehicle approaching. The sounds can be heard HERE.
The public will have 60 days to comment on the proposed new rule. After that, the NHTSA can present and implement a finalized rule.