NewScientist reports on Prius with noise-machine.

I’m not sure if my sarcasm gene is on overdrive today or what, but this seems to me like biggest bit of non-news that NewScientist’s video channel has produced.

“Fake engine noise makes electric cars safer”

The main point seems to be to protect blind people and the terminally stupid (or i-Pod wearing) from being hit by quiet hybrid cars as they cross the street.

See how Mad Mike would solve the problem after the jump:

Now hybrid cars are good-ish looking, not too bad for the environment and quiet to boot. I can’t think of anyone in the world who would take a nice quiet car and add something to it to make it sound noisy and more than a little bit silly – except perhaps for the boyracers round my way who would drill holes in the exhaust of their Nissan Sunny to make it sound ‘mean’.Chav my Motor

Even those chav-tastic drilled-out exhausts sounded better than this example of ‘technology’. Anybody crossing the road would think they’re about to be plowed down by a Geiger counter. The driver would be better off winding down the window and going “whee-aww whee-aww whee-aww” for a more realistic effect.

If you were going to attach speakers to the outside of your car to make a silly noise to warn people (and I’m not suggesting you do), would you put them under the wheel arch, where they could get clogged up and possibly smashed to smithereens by debris?

Probably not. Although the boys racers do like to stick UV lights under there. Better off sticking them to the roof.

So let’s look to the boy racers for inspiration. They like taking good cars and making them rubbish, but they also love making a noise. Perhaps these Stanford scientists should get themselves and their Prius down to see Mad Mike at Galpin Auto Sports to find a more effective way to warn people that they’re coming:

Try crossing he road with that thing coming…


(edited for crimes against the English language add to fix broken links)

About Stephen

International Educator: China via Japan, Indonesia & the UK. Director of Innovation in Learning & Teaching. Science educator. Twitterist (@sjtylr), dad and bloggerer. MA International Education & current EdD student. Experienced Director of Learning & MYP Coordinator. Interested in curriculum, pedagogy, purposeful EdTech and global competence. Find out more: Science site:

Posted on June 13, 2008, in Electricity, Environments, Fun, Silly and Funny, YouTube and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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