Starting mid next year, electric and hybrid cars in Switzerland must emit noise to improve pedestrian safety, in particular the safety of those with impaired sight.
The news was reported in the newspaper NZZ am Sonntag and confirmed by the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO).
Electric and hybrid cars will need to be fitted with external speakers that emit the sound of an engine, technology known as an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System. The noise must operate when the car is reversing and while moving forwards until it reaches a speed of 20 km/h.
The rules will apply to all new models from mid 2019 and to all newly registered vehicles from 2021. The rules will not apply to electric and hybrid vehicles already on the road. The new requirements will bring Switzerland into line with european regulations.
Switzerland’s federation for the blind doesn’t think the changes go far enough. It wants Swiss rules to require stationary vehicles to emit sound.
European regulations on Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (in English)