alohart wrote: ↑Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:30 pm
...I would have preferred for this warning sound to be controlled by the driver like a quiet horn that the driver could activate in situations where moving along slowly might endanger some people. Exiting down 2 floors in our parking garage with no one around and our pedestrian warning sound echoing off the garage's concrete walls, floors, and ceilings seemed excessive and unnecessary.
I wouldn't be so quick to assume that we can control decades of learned human behavior with the flick of a switch from the driver's seat.
If you think about how much we rely on our sense of hearing to navigate the world, you'll probably reconsider. Maybe the pedestrian you do see, walking down the parking ramp with his back to you, you would turn the warning on for. But the person you don't see, who steps out from between cars, maybe wrangling a kid or a shopping bag, is probably using audio cues just as much as vision to get a sense if it's clear to proceed. Same with the person who is walking behind a parked EV and looking / listening for the telltale signs of an ICE vehicle about to back out.
As a cyclist, I listen before changing lanes before looking to change lanes, because as a species we have a bad tendency of "steering where we look" and a lot of cyclists fall into this trap of looking over their shoulder to check for a clear lane and the bike subconsciously follow the glance -- it takes a concerted effort to continue in a straight path.
And, although a relatively small population of all of the pedestrians we encounter as drivers, the sight-impaired are especially reliant on their ears to pick up a nearby slow-moving vehicle.
The stats I've found from a 2011 NHTSA study are 37% increased risk of an EV vs. ped collision, 57% EV vs. cyclist, and a more recent European study by a group called Guide Dogs pegged it at 40%.
Hopefully as AI technology continues to advance, the spatial awareness systems installed in our cars can significantly reduce these figures, and maybe even control the operation of the AVAS. Until then, if our cars have to make a little noise, I can't find fault with that.