Ford Asked Feds Permission To Make Stealth Mode For Electric Police Cars

AUG 29 2018 BY MARK KANE 20

An alert sound for pedestrians is to be mandatory in new silent cars from 2020

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) decided (see Minimum Sound Requirements) that from 2020 on, all new silent electric and hybrid cars will be required to have an automatic alert sound for pedestrians.

The sound will be required to speeds of up to 19 mph (30.5 km/h), as above that threshold other sounds related to tires or airflow are enough to recognize the presence of the car.

According to a recent Verge article, not necessarily all cars will be required to use the alert sound.

Ford asked the NHTSA whether there will be exceptions for police cars, for example, so that the alert could be switched off for stealth mode.

Ford Fusion Plug-In Hybrid Police Cruiser

“In 2015, however, Ford wanted to know if it could partially exempt the law enforcement vehicles it makes, The Verge has learned.

In the text of the final rule issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) this past February, the government said it would respond to a comment that was submitted by Ford “regarding the legality of equipping certain vehicles used for security purposes with a means of turning off the required pedestrian alert sound.” In other words, Ford told the government it plans to comply with the rule, but wanted to know if it was possible to give law enforcement an “off switch.”

There was no official answer to the question because it was issued after the public comment period ended.

We assume that the NHTSA will allow the turning off of the sound in some types of vehicles, such as police cruisers and military applications.

Source: The Verge

Categories: Ford

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20 Comments on "Ford Asked Feds Permission To Make Stealth Mode For Electric Police Cars"

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I just always assumed that police cars would have a “dark” switch that turned off all lighting, and a “quiet” switch that eliminated the pedestrian sound. A police car like that would make an awesome surveillance vehicle, prowling down alleys, rolling up on stuff.


My P71 has “dark mode” enabled, but it’s a programmed LCM setting. I’m assuming this would be a similar factory-set option, if ordered.

So ridiculous, a lot of new ICE car are very quiet too, unless they accelerate. The right solution is to put this on all car

It is indeed ridiculous – the right solution is not to have noisemakers at all. One of the selling points of EVs is the lack of sound.

If you have a Leaf or a Prius, they already come with noisemakers that emit a gentle high-pitch whir when you drive at low speeds. It is hardly disruptive, and barely adds to noise pollution as much as an ICE.

In the Leaf, you can turn it off (through LeafSpy), but I’m not sure I would.

the point is that EVs are too quiet in local neighborhoods. I have had several neighbors grip about our MS on summer tires (winter has studs). And yeah, it is quiet. That is why cars will have noise maker under 20 mph.

The point is that EVs are SUPPOSED to be silent; that and not having to buy gas are the two main reasons for consideration in the first place.

The right solution is to put this on no cars.

If and when I ever purchase an electric car, disabling the automatic noise-maker will be the first thing I do when I get it home.

Amen, brother!

Watch out for people looking for a payday.
There are people out there that will intentionally step in front of you, then sue you for disabling a safety device.

They will get paid with their life.

Intentionally stepping in front of a car? Gee, that’s a good way to get killed.

I disabled it on my 2012 LEAF. Who buys a silent car only to have it make noise pollution.

Until it becomes an “inspection item” like a front windscreen or tire tread.

Hmmm would be awesome if we could change the sound file, my choice would be “The Imperial March.”

Ride of the Valkyries
Great song for that.

Maybe for the police. While I wish I could turn off the backup beeps on my Leaf (people hear it but don’t think it’s coming from my car, and it’s the nuts to leave the driveway early in the morning), after four years, I have to be very careful pedestrians (without headphones) don’t just step out in front.
The Mercedes guy says they want no sound at all from their new model, hmmmm, and the I-pace artificial sound mode is fantastic.

Equip the blind with scanner canes.