Tesla Quiet and Cycling (TDF inspired)

Tesla Quiet and Cycling (TDF inspired)

Just wanted to give a quick safety note out to those who don't Road bike. Coming from a guy who cycled thousands of miles to train for races, I never won, but thoroughly enjoyed.
Please be aware that cyclist listen for and hear cars coming up behind them and generally act accordingly (Single file up and move towards the white line). When it is quiet they tend to relax and maybe reach for their water or a quick snack. That can cause them to possibly swerve out into the lane. Give a little more room with your Tesla! They wont know you are there. I scared the crap out of my neighbors, as they were out walking their dogs, they couldn't hear me a couple feet behind them. The outcome for a cyclist if startled or worse - hit, is unacceptable! Remember they are Greener then You!!

Gas Killa | 17 luglio 2014

True but you must have been going very slow to sneak up on your neighbors. Above 20mph tire noise is loud enough to alert cyclists and pedestrians. Everyone should put down their devices and pay attention while on the road no matter their mode of transport.

mrspaghetti | 17 luglio 2014

There have been some threads about adding a driver-activated chime to alert pedestrians and cyclists. Not a bad option, IMO.

Killerz991 | 17 luglio 2014

As an avid cyclist, I agree, you can hear an ICE car coming up behind you, but a Tesla? Not as prevalently. As cyclist, we hear sound first, then look in our mirrors, if we have them! Please give a little space to cyclists, because they may just be a Tesla owner!

hamer | 18 luglio 2014

That is why the Tesla can have a much louder horn. So that even when the cyclists are riding in packs, wearing their MP3 players, we can honk loudly enough from far enough away so they can move out of the way with great courtesy.

tes-s | 18 luglio 2014

Give space in your ICE too!

jordanrichard | 18 luglio 2014

This silence is not exclusive to Teslas, any hybrid in electric mode would be just as a silent.

I do think it would be a good idea for there to be a "pedestrian" horn. Something half as loud as the normal horn. I do not and will not let anyone put a device on my car that emits a constant drone noise while I am driving around.

David Trushin | 18 luglio 2014

There are even more situations when a bike rider can't hear the approaching car. I have been out riding and hit a downhill stretch. Cars overtaking on this stretch are quiet no matter what type of propulsion they use. Newer ICE vehicles idle the engine quickly when you don't have the accelerator pressed and then pretty much all you hear is the tire noise. I always check behind me before doing anything that might make me swerve into the traffic lane.

Not just an EV problem.

Philip2 | 18 luglio 2014

Perhaps drivers may roll down the window with the music playing when they see a cyclist on the road? Less alarming than a horn.


Andrew_OH_S60andS70D | 18 luglio 2014

We have both a Model S and a Nissan Leaf. The Leaf does make a noise at low speeds, and a different sound when in reverse. I like having the reverse sound just in case there is someone back there.

NKYTA | 18 luglio 2014

Good idea @Phillip2. That said, the music might be louder than my MS horn.

It does "go to eleven" after all. ;-)

SCCRENDO | 18 luglio 2014

As a cyclist I find a loud horn to be very disconcerting. I also don't think we should add background noise to a quite car. (Perhaps we should all install the humming drive-trains that are being replaced). I suggest we drive cautiously around cyclists given them room, I would not be against a relatively soft second horn.

DTsea | 18 luglio 2014

According to the research on whether ev cars should have noisemakers, above 18 mph the sound is dominated by tire noise. So cyclists will only have an issue if the car is moving very slowly.

As far as the driver activated chime it is called the 'horn.'

Baribrotzer | 18 luglio 2014

@ DTsea; As far as the driver activated chime it is called the 'horn.'

Yes, but no.

Problem is, if you're on a bicycle, you're the weakest and most vulnerable thing on the road. So you have to be cautious, to the point of being paranoid. (Unless you're one of those particularly idiotic and nervy bicycle activists who rides like a fool and dares people to hit him). You can't assume that drivers always see you, or that they understand you CANNOT turn instantly or stop on a dime. Or, that they aren't mean and angry, or mean and full of fun.

So a car's driver may intend his horn simply as a warning that he is there. But to a cyclist, it means, "OUTA MY F#$%IN" WAY, PIPSQUEAK." Not because that's what the driver meant, but because if you don't regard it as an angry or bullying threat, you'll be unready for that one time in ten when it actually is.

And thus, having an alternate sound that isn't a horn and doesn't sound angry might be a useful addition - especially to a quiet car that makes little noise at low speeds.

DTsea | 18 luglio 2014

As a cyclist, you need to have a thick skin. A quick tap on the horn is universally understood as not angry. We arent talking about leaning on the horn. And it HAS TO BE LOUD so the people in other cars can hear it over the stereo (not to mention cyclists with earbuds in).

Below 18 mph the car is moving about the same speed as the bike, so no problem there.

Having more buttons and chimes that NO OTHER CAR has is silly. The car... above 18 mph... is not quieter than an ICE.

This is a solution in search of a problem.

Tiebreaker | 18 luglio 2014

Cyclists, do not listen to music when cycling, no matter how boring it is!

Motorists, do not open the driver side door without first looking back!

^ both points from experience...

SCCRENDO | 18 luglio 2014

@tiebreake. Unfortunately motorists do open doors all the time without looking back.
@DTsea. Cyclists don't appreciate honks on the horn no matter how friendly. Just try keep your distance and pause a few moments until you have sufficient room and pass the cyclist. As was suggested on a previous thread please don't be a smart ass and yell 'on your left' as you pass.

aljjr2 | 18 luglio 2014

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is already looking at requiring a "Pedestrian Warning System" to Electric Vehicles. My Fisker has a pedestrian warning tone that is active from 0-35mph. After 35mph, it stops.

I have seen many people who would not normally "hear" anything note the unique sound and are alerted to the car traveling on battery only.

NTSB will be set a standard volume and tone for electric vehicles. I would think Tesla may want to provide proactively. Quiet is great, but if pedestrians in a cross walk, or bike rider has no sense that the car is approaching, it may be devastating. I see a law suit loaming. There is a reason construction equipment "beeps" when backing up. After millions is settlements, the manufacturers added the warning systems.

Bajajoe | 18 luglio 2014

As a cyclist and a tesla owner my take is you don't hear the engine on an ice either as the exhaust is at the rear of the vehicle. So what you hear are the tires until the car passes. That case is very true for many luxury new cars as well as other quality cars. IMO

mrspaghetti | 18 luglio 2014

@DTsea - I thought the difference between 'horn' and 'chime' was pretty clear without explaining, but for the latter I'm thinking something along the lines of an old-fashioned bicycle bell. No reason it would have to be an additional button, a virtual one on the touch screen would be fine, and there's no reason you couldn't pick your own sound. Also, I wouldn't support a mandate of such a feature, just thought it wouldn't be bad as an option.

The horn is kind of overkill if you're just looking to make sure a pedestrian or bicyclist knows you're passing them at slow speed.

I find it interesting that people find the need to justify why we should be courteous and safe around other people because they are 'greener than we are' or 'might own a Tesla'. Isn't it enough that they are people? :)

DTsea | 19 luglio 2014

dont need chime. bicyclists need to keep headphones off and use mirrors not just ears. and drivers need to be careful.

NTSB has no regulatory authority. they investigate accidents and advise. NHTSA sets regulations. i am opposed to any noisemakers that are based on car powerplant rather than measured noise characteristics. plenty of high end ICE cars are nearly as quiet as a Tesla, hybrids run electric only at low speed, etc. cover them all or none. i prefer none.... in general quieter cars are a GOOD THING.

where is the data that bike accidents are from passing by quiet cars? i suspect turns across traffic, doors, and a**hole behavior are more frequent. none of those will be helped by a chime. but adding more buttons to the wheel or stalks will add to driver workload and cause accidents from chiming when horn is appropriate and looking down to get the right button.

Lessmog | 19 luglio 2014

Old discussion. Is this a newer proposal?
Fit a cheap wireless door-chime behind the nose cone and tape the button in a convenient spot, then "ring the bell" as needed.

dborn | 19 luglio 2014

Most cyclists I come across act like they own the road, and cars owe them something. Allowing them to ride in tandem is plain stupid, where they are forced to be slow, such as narrow roads in national parks and going uphill, it should be obligatory that they stop and pull over to allow cars through. Most of the time they pay no road usage fee that cars do. At dangerous or busy intersections they should be using the footpath and pedestrian traffic lights. The above is exactly what I do when riding my bike. And, definitely no ear buds. Make them illegal and subject to very high fines!

J.T. | 19 luglio 2014

@Killerz991 Please give a little space to cyclists, because they may just be a Tesla owner! Really?

HurricaneFodder | 19 luglio 2014

I had my first near miss with a cyclist Friday. As I approached a roundabout where I turn right a cyclist didn't hear me closing on him and proceeded to drift into my lane several times. Eventually he saw me and moved near the curb so I could pass safely. I'm not sure how my wife would handle the same situation.