Quiet by Design

Silence the Horns Editorial, International Noise Awareness Day 2016

In a 2011 TED Talk and a 2015 Ford Europe webcast, Bill Ford discusses his lifelong passion for nature and the environment, the future of transportation, and transportation alternatives. In both talks, Ford touches on an overarching goal of enhancing people's lives. Ford does not mention environmental noise in his talks, which is consistent with industry discourse about environmentally friendly transportation.

Buy Quiet, Quiet by Design, and Prevention through Design (PtD) are manufacturing principles and programs that aim to prevent unnecessary or hazardous forms of noise upstream, averting a wide array of problems downstream when potential noise emissions are not considered. 1 2 3 4 5

We believe that PtD regarding noise should be an essential part of automotive design - every noise source should receive as much attention as any potentially toxic emission. Designing all products to be as quiet as possible speaks to concern for safety, health, quality of life, and savings of time and cost down the road. We hope that Bill Ford and Ford Motor Company will ultimately align their thinking with ours regarding horn-based vehicle alerts, and will deem elimination of such noise essential to environmentally friendly vehicles - and consider such action to be another aspect of enhancing people's lives.

Although it deals with a different form of horn honking, Ford Europe's Bad Impacts of Honking video about Ford Vietnam's Driving Skills for Life program has a message that aligns perfectly with Prevention through Design philosophy: "Think before you honk!" Design engineers, please: Think before you incorporate a honk with convenience feedback! This matters now and within the context of gridlock and future mobility.

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