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That whooshing sound could be a new Infiniti Hybrid coming at you

Consumer Reports News: November 19, 2010 12:41 PM

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Infiniti’s new M35 Hybrid will be the first hybrid on the market with an audible pedestrian warning system.

While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is working on a standard for such systems, Nissan is forging ahead with audible warnings on this new Infiniti as well as on its all-electric Nissan Leaf. The issue has been a hot button for advocacy groups for pedestrians, children, and especially the blind.

Shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, the M35 Hybrid uses a new hybrid drivetrain with a single motor and two clutches that can travel very short distances at high speeds in electric mode

The audible warning sounds like an amplified electric motor whine. If the car is in reverse, the sound is pulsed, similar to the beep of a large truck backing up. For an example of the sound, check out this YouTube video.

Eric Evarts

See our guide to fuel economy for advice on saving gasoline. Learn about future technologies in our guide to alternative fuels.

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