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Toyota device alerts pedestrians to approaching quiet hybrid

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The 12,600 yen speaker system that goes under the hood of the third-generation Prius sets off a whirring sound designed to be about the same noise level as a regular car engine so that it isn’t annoying, Toyota said Tuesday.

now Toyota should provide hearing aid device and charge separately.

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complaints that pedestrians can’t hear the top-selling car approaching.

This is a useful invention for the blind members of the public. I guess the general public are too stoopid and lazy to use their eyes.

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@Disillusioned

So distracted people, little kids, etc should be run down, right?

And I should always remember to wear sunglasses just in case I walk across a car park with the sun in my eyes...

Even with a normal car, it's not easy to hear them when they are driven at low speeds, and there will be times when they are not easy to see either - coming around a corner, reversing, etc.

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Pedestrian deaths compared to overall traffic fatalities are higher in Japan than in the U.S. and many other nations because of Japan’s narrow and crisscrossing crowded streets.

Interesting point. I always wondered why there are not many more accident between cyclists / pedestrians and cars as the rule of thumb is: when crossing don't look just walk / drive; if you look the car driver will assume you'll stop.

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More noise pollution Japan. Great going Toyota. Like this will really work. Knowing a lot of japanese people, they will be more into their cell phone tex messaging rather then listening for a sound that comes from a car warning them of an approaching vehicle.

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@kyoken

the rule of thumb is: when crossing don't look just walk / drive....

So if two cars are approaching an intersection from different directions, and they both follow your genius "rule of thumb", what do you think will happen?

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I had a friend that bought one of those devices. Ummmm, it sounds like an engine from a toy motorcycle for a three year old, just a little louder. What a waste of money! I say, just roll down the windows and let the woofers start kicking!

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"Overseas sales plans are still undecided"

Yeh- it depends on whether they are still in business or not- ha ha !

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Pedestrian deaths compared to overall traffic fatalities are higher in Japan than in the U.S.

That's because there aren't any pedestrians in the U.S. Their towns and cities are designed around the automobile, which is a factor in their high rates of obesity, and Japan is in real danger of going the same way.

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How about some common sense, care and concentration. For drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, drunks, the people who serve alcohol to drunks, and for people near drunks on platforms. We could save a lot of lives, injuries and money.

The amount of times I've had to tell a Japanese person "Just remember a car could be coming around the corner now", or "If a person were walking or riding a bike rounding that corner now, you would have hit them", is incredible.

It's as if everybody thinks God is watching their every move and will send angels to prevent accidents. Amazing more people aren't hit by cars.

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Person walked straight out into the road in front of me this morning, head tilted, gabbing on her mobile phone, blissfully unaware of anything around her. And my car has a boxer engine, not the quietest in the world.

What about putting noisemakers on mobile phones to alert drivers when someone is in the vicinity of their car?

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Japan is already riddled with noise pollution. I bet the owners of the hybrid cars will get sick of hearing that warning sound over and over, unless they keep the radio on at a volume that drowns out the exterior noise.

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I bet the owners of the hybrid cars will get sick of hearing that warning sound over and over,

Beleive me, I only heard it for a few minutes and the annoying buzzing sound that it made drove me crazy!

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I guess the general public are too stoopid and lazy to use their eyes.

I started to drive a hybrid last year. When in a parking lot or somewhere else you have to drive very slowly, you run on battery, and the car makes no sound. Those with really good ears might hear the sound the tires make on the asphalt, but that's asking a bit much. The problem is hybrid drivers who speed through parking lots startling people...they should realize that people can't hear them coming.

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Himajin good comments. And Yasukuni's comment that It's as if everybody thinks God is watching their every move and will send angels to prevent accidents. Amazing more people aren't hit by cars it pertains to almost ALL facets of life here, when you think about it.

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The amount of times I've had to tell a Japanese person "Just remember a car could be coming around the corner now", or "If a person were walking or riding a bike rounding that corner now, you would have hit them", is incredible.

But there never was any other car, bike or person coming round the corner, was there? You're worrying about something that doesn't happen.

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as the rule of thumb is: when crossing don't look just walk / drive; if you look the car driver will assume you'll stop.

I don't intend to test that on the road but it seems to be true when I walk among pedestrians. When I'm obviously attentive to where other people are walking, I always have to take evasive action; when I pretend to be just gazing straight ahead (but in reality keeping a lookout for silent, slow-moving hybrid cars) other people keep out of my way.

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it should make the "photon torpedo" noise .

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In the land of the ninja, they've now created the ninja car!

But yeah, why spend that much on stupid devices when they could just install a low-fidelity, durable speaker that faces outwards and plays a sound from the stereo system? 13,000yen could buy a pretty damn good speaker and sound generator!

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A few empty cans and strings will do the trick.

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I second "darkmanv"'s photon torpedoes sound. I could listen to that forever. As a dedicated bicyclist, I find "silent cars" alarming. I depend upon my sense of sound first, sight second, when negotiating the alarmingly random interactions of cars/bike/motorbikes/trucks/etc. in Tokyo. Silent cars are my worst nightmare.

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"But there never was any other car, bike or person coming round the corner, was there? You're worrying about something that doesn't happen."

See this is a perfect example of what I mean. I told them that because on other times there WERE near misses! You are either Japanese or someone who will either one day get run down, or run somebody down. Wake up to yourself.

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Silent cars are my worst nightmare.

Once you get over 20k per hour, the engine kicks in, and you can hear it.

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I would like to see the raw data they used. With the modern exhaust systems most conventional cars engines can barely be heard over the rolling noise. With a 65 dB ambient noise in a urban area, hybrids and IC are both effectively silent.

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Toyota etc...should also invest in educating more Japanese in what not to do in cars, cellphones are illegal, but too many Japanese gab away while DRIVING, TVS should be illegal in cars, but how many Japanese drive around and watch tv on their car navi?? Too many!!! This Toyota device sounds great, but now it just needs to short circuit all the I Pods, cellphones that fools on their bicycles here in Japan use while whizzing in and out of traffic! Yes, Japan, just one big accident after another just waiting to happen!

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See this is a perfect example of what I mean. I told them that because on other times there WERE near misses! You are either Japanese or someone who will either one day get run down, or run somebody down. Wake up to yourself.

It's OK, that's not my attitude but an expression of the attitude so many people around here seem to have.

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Sorry about that Stone Cold. Lately, I've heard so many ridiculous things said seriously that I can't detect sarcasm anymore.

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