As we are all familiar by now, hybrid cars run on both petrol engine and an electric motor. And this has caused a rather unusual problem. They're too quiet and that poses a source of danger to pedestrians like children or old people who can't really hear that well. Amazingly, hybrid cars such as the Prius only emit 30 decibels which is as loud as a Careless Whisperer.. The Japanese government is stepping in to tackle this new problem on their hands, one which they created for themselves in the interest of public safety and being environmentally friendly.
What they plan to do is to install a simple device that makes a noise while the car is operating on its electric motor. The biggest problem that the Japanese government faces is the kind of sound that the car should make. Some suggested the sound of a horse's hooves, the voice of a person shouting out warnings, or the amplified sound of tyres. One thing's for sure is that the Japanese never fail to entertain just by looking at the suggestions to solve the problem! However, the Transport Authorities aren't going to make it compulsory to install such sound-generating devices into hybrids or electric cars even though they are becoming increasingly popular in Japan. Just imagine the roads of Japan with sounds of ducks, horses, monkeys? A jet fighter, a bomb, a phone ringing, an ice-cream van jingle. The list can go on... Which is why the authorities want to standardize the type of sound emitted before they implement such measures.
Since Japan is always at the forefront of technological advances, I believe that if Singapore follows their example of promoting environmentally friendly vehicles like hybrids and EVs (electric vehicles), we will face the same problem they are facing now one day. So get our heads cracking and decide whether your car should go 'Moo' or 'Ruff ruff!'... But come on, what's wrong with conventional engine noises? Stuff your eco-friendly car with some Bose speakers and blast the sound of a burbling Supercharged V8 from a Mercedes SLR or something and the problem is solved.
Well that's one possibility. What do you think?