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Tesla Model 3 update: New pedestrian warning speaker gets mixed reactions as some customers worry about noise pollution
Electric vehicles like the Tesla Model 3 are celebrated for giving consumers an option to drive around without relying on gasoline, thus, helping lower the fossil fuel and greenhouse gas emissions. Electricity-powered cars also tend to have much quieter engines, so it is also attributed as a way to lessen noise pollution.
The second point is also the reason why the reported pedestrian warning system is receiving mixed feedback from Tesla Model 3 customers.
New Tesla Model 3 units have speakers for a pedestrian warning system
The Twitter page Tesla Owners Online was the first to report about the new feature added to newly produced Tesla Model 3 units. Per the report, cars that were made since Sept. 1 and to be sold in the United States market have been installed with a speaker intended for the new Pedestrian Warning System.
It appears that the new feature will be initially added to Tesla Model 3 units. It is also important to note that the Elon Musk-led company has yet to announce the new pedestrian warning system officially.
The requirement for electric vehicles to have a pedestrian warning system has been known for a while now. In the U.S., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) is slated to implement such policy in 2020. And the reported update on the Tesla Model 3 at the beginning of the month is very likely in compliance with the law.
Talks about the warning system gained more attention earlier this year when the YouTube channel Dærik covered the provision speaker grill in the front-side of the Tesla Model 3 undercarriage. Latest reports indicate that the warning system will produce warning sounds when the vehicle is moving forward and in reverse at a speed of less than 19 mph.
Tesla Model 3 pedestrian warning system: What do EV owners think?
As mentioned, many electric car enthusiasts love the fact that their vehicles do not contribute to noise pollution in urban cities and major highways. So it was not surprising when some Tesla Model 3 owners are not happy about the addition of the pedestrian warning system.
As Electrek points out, cyclists and pedestrians with visual impairment greatly rely on the engine sound of nearby cars to know when they have to halt or move further to the side of the road for their safety. So it could be much more difficult to take auditory cues when a car with an already silent engine like Tesla Model 3 is driving very slow.