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As a man of science, I set out today to explore Toyota's Proximity Alert System which in my 2020 RAV4 Hybrid will emit a sound alerting nearby pedestrians that the vehicle is in a drive gear and may begin to move. I now share my findings so that they may be properly peer reviewed and evaluated, and the experiment tested by other people of science to verify its validity.

Items needed to perform this experiment:

1 flathead screwdriver
1 10mm socket (this may disqualify some of you from participating)
Wire cutters
1 knife / wire strippers
1 small sized paperclip (preferably with rubber coating)
30 minutes

The scientific process:

Using the flathead screwdriver, five retention clips can be disengaged and removed from the fan shroud.

Using the 10mm socket, two bolts can be removed from the front side of the fan shroud, freeing it from two clear mounting brackets.

Using the 10mm socket, three bolts can be removed from the hood latch. One must take care not to drop these bolts down into the engine.

The fan shroud can easily be flexed and removed from the vehicle.

It is at this point one will notice a speaker device attached to the vehicle near the center line of the vehicle. It is important to distinguish this speaker device from the two horn units that may look similar. Once located, the plug that leads into the speaker device from the left side may be unclipped, and one may find that if the vehicle is put into drive or reverse that it will move without emitting the high-pitched tone that some may find unpleasant to hear when the vehicle is in battery-only drive. Interesting.

But...an error message? Unacceptable. On the electronic dash display pops up, "Proximity Alert System malfunction: Visit your dealer." I think not.

In my highly scientific research I jammed a single strand of copper wire between the contacts within the cord which was unplugged from the speaker device and turned the ignition on again. I was once more presented with the error message. I theorized that there wasn't enough voltage passing between the contacts to complete the circuit. I attempted the same procedure with three strands of copper twisted tightly together using a high precision cordless drill, which seemed to pass enough power such that when the vehicle was turned on I could drive forward and backward without sound, and without error message.

But this bridge was not entirely faithful, as the ends had already begun to come undone upon insertion. Close observation revealed that my three strand prototype was roughly the same diameter as a small paperclip's metal core. Ever mindful of circuit shorts, I set out to find a plastic coated paperclip, which about one inch of could be used to make Bridge 2: Electric Boogaloo. A quick trip on the freshly calibrated blade of my pocketknife revealed roughly 1/4" of bare metal on each end, which slotted nicely into the plug's contacts and didn't leave live circuitry exposed for all the radiator to see. Driving results remained the same as with the copper, huzzah!

Conclusion:

Another ignition and drive test with our scientific paperclip installed revealed no tone emission or error appearance, so I securely covered the now-exposed plug ends and replaced the fan shroud to its original position. I suspect that this experiment could be repeated on other vehicles of similar build with similar results.

Additional information:

NHTSA mandates that any hybrid/electric vehicle built during or after September of 2020 be fitted with a device to emit sound when under non-gas engine drive to alert pedestrians of the vehicle's ability to move. I am a man of science, not of law, and I cannot encourage anyone else which way to interpret this ruling. All I know is that my vehicle was built well before this time, and that if I hear about Tesla retrofitting their older EVs with a PAS I will follow their lead. Conduct this experiment fully informed if you wish, and happy quiet driving.
 

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As a man of science, I set out today to explore Toyota's Proximity Alert System which in my 2020 RAV4 Hybrid will emit a sound alerting nearby pedestrians that the vehicle is in a drive gear and may begin to move. I now share my findings so that they may be properly peer reviewed and evaluated, and the experiment tested by other people of science to verify its validity.

Items needed to perform this experiment:

1 flathead screwdriver
1 10mm socket (this may disqualify some of you from participating)
Wire cutters
1 knife / wire strippers
1 small sized paperclip (preferably with rubber coating)
30 minutes

The scientific process:

Using the flathead screwdriver, five retention clips can be disengaged and removed from the fan shroud.

Using the 10mm socket, two bolts can be removed from the front side of the fan shroud, freeing it from two clear mounting brackets.

Using the 10mm socket, three bolts can be removed from the hood latch. One must take care not to drop these bolts down into the engine.

The fan shroud can easily be flexed and removed from the vehicle.

It is at this point one will notice a speaker device attached to the vehicle near the center line of the vehicle. It is important to distinguish this speaker device from the two horn units that may look similar. Once located, the plug that leads into the speaker device from the left side may be unclipped, and one may find that if the vehicle is put into drive or reverse that it will move without emitting the high-pitched tone that some may find unpleasant to hear when the vehicle is in battery-only drive. Interesting.

But...an error message? Unacceptable. On the electronic dash display pops up, "Proximity Alert System malfunction: Visit your dealer." I think not.

In my highly scientific research I jammed a single strand of copper wire between the contacts within the cord which was unplugged from the speaker device and turned the ignition on again. I was once more presented with the error message. I theorized that there wasn't enough voltage passing between the contacts to complete the circuit. I attempted the same procedure with three strands of copper twisted tightly together using a high precision cordless drill, which seemed to pass enough power such that when the vehicle was turned on I could drive forward and backward without sound, and without error message.

But this bridge was not entirely faithful, as the ends had already begun to come undone upon insertion. Close observation revealed that my three strand prototype was roughly the same diameter as a small paperclip's metal core. Ever mindful of circuit shorts, I set out to find a plastic coated paperclip, which about one inch of could be used to make Bridge 2: Electric Boogaloo. A quick trip on the freshly calibrated blade of my pocketknife revealed roughly 1/4" of bare metal on each end, which slotted nicely into the plug's contacts and didn't leave live circuitry exposed for all the radiator to see. Driving results remained the same as with the copper, huzzah!

Conclusion:

Another ignition and drive test with our scientific paperclip installed revealed no tone emission or error appearance, so I securely covered the now-exposed plug ends and replaced the fan shroud to its original position. I suspect that this experiment could be repeated on other vehicles of similar build with similar results.

Additional information:

NHTSA mandates that any hybrid/electric vehicle built during or after September of 2020 be fitted with a device to emit sound when under non-gas engine drive to alert pedestrians of the vehicle's ability to move. I am a man of science, not of law, and I cannot encourage anyone else which way to interpret this ruling. All I know is that my vehicle was built well before this time, and that if I hear about Tesla retrofitting their older EVs with a PAS I will follow their lead. Conduct this experiment fully informed if you wish, and happy quiet driving.
I was walking thru a parking lot when I hear that familiar sound approaching behind me. I turned to see what it was and sure enough it was a Toyota Camry Hybrid approaching. I liked that I could hear it. I would have been upset if startled by a silent approach.
 

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Not a new topic.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Or, you could just read the big threads where people like me talk about putting a resistor in there to bypass the speaker.
In my vehicle the lead lines out of the plug have about 1/2" of wire access, not a length I was comfortable soldering into. Furthermore, the ratio of people who are capable of doing that (in my experience) is very low. But most people can come up with wire clippers and a paperclip.

I was walking thru a parking lot when I hear that familiar sound approaching behind me. I turned to see what it was and sure enough it was a Toyota Camry Hybrid approaching. I liked that I could hear it. I would have been upset if startled by a silent approach.
This project was not aiming for silence, nor did I achieve that. The whine of the motors themselves is plenty loud on their own, add tire friction noise to that and my vehicle is clearly audible when in motion. I can't speak for any others.

Not a new topic.

I'm not claiming it is, and for all the looking around I've done I know that it's not. But in that I hadn't come across a simple solution that everyday Joe could do without having to bust out spare circuit parts and a soldering iron, so this is intended to illustrate a very simple and essentially free method that people could implement if they desired.
 

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As someone with a visually impaired dad who has nearly been hit by quiet non-hybrid cars while checking his mail (cars doing 50-60 mph), I'm leaving the angels on. "Whine of the motors" and "tire friction" may seem like a lot, but not in a busy parking lot where there are other cars making much more noise, outdoor speakers playing music, people and kids talking/shouting/etc.

Plus, in this lawsuit happy world we live in, I would not want to be the person who hits a pedestrian and didn't have the choir on. I can see that going poorly even if it was at a speed where the sound wasn't on.

I can see an attorney now: "so you knowingly disabled a safety device that alerts pedestrians to the the movement of your car?" And it's all downhill from there. Remember, it may or may not be illegal to remove such a device (not sure how the laws are worded), but legality doesn't matter in civil suits.
 

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An interesting read along with the resistor threads.

I’m actually curious to see if anyone takes it to the next level—replace Toyota’s sound with another that’s less annoying, but still serves the safety purpose.

I actually had one ped crossing behind me in a busy lot with her child comment that she didn’t even realize my engine was running (chuckle at the irony here) and was less startled when the Sound of the Angels pre-empted the vehicle beginning to move. (Yes, a car and a pedestrian had a civil chat in 2020...)

I’m going to set off the flame wars with this, but it’s like wearing a mask... it’s not all about you, it’s about others, too. The annoying sound is worth it if even one pedestrian is tipped off because the rest of the car is too quiet and an accident/lawsuit is avoided. That said, idea for Toyota... you have pedestrian detection, how about a sound that only emits when a pedestrian is sensed nearby?

There’s a few ways to split up this problem. And I’m not really upset with owners who see fit to deactivate the feature—that sound is annoying and inconsistent in application.
 

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^^^ I don't know about your trim level, but in my Limited, things start beeping when someone/something goes anywhere near the 4 corners of the car. I don't see how I can run into anyone (unless I am just not paying attention). As for sight impaired paired pedestrians, if they can't see me well, then a) why are they walking in the parking lot alone (let's just hope they are not driving)?, and b) will this really help them get out of the way, since they cannot see well where to jump to? For regular sighted pedestrians, they are likely listening to music or texting on their phones...this is not likely to help them much.

Once you have gone silent, you will not go back!
 

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I just can't resist jumping in. All of this annoyance is puzzling to me. What percent of the time you are in the vehicle when it is making this noise? It is fairly subtle going forward and true that it is louder in reverse. Honestly, I find the quizzical looks from pedestrians when I'm backing up to be a bit amusing. Two weeks ago I happened to be parked next to a CRV hybrid that backed up out of its parking space, and it's similar sounding chorus of angels soundtrack is not steady, rather, it cycles in a low speed warble.
The RAV could be worse. My 2016 Prius emits the typical beep beep, beep in reverse, but only in the interior ! You should read the bitching about that on the Prius forums. Ha!
 

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The RAV could be worse. My 2016 Prius emits the typical beep beep, beep in reverse, but only in the interior ! You should read the bitching about that on the Prius forums. Ha!
The Prius cabin reverse beep can be disabled with Techstream or Carista, so it's not the same, there are no programable provisions to disable the proximity alert.
 

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Wow, you know your stuff! Impressive! Thanks.
The cabin beep was my wife's first and only complaint in her '15 Prius, the dealer "fixed" it on the first visit. When we bought the '18 Prius Prime, same complaint on the test drive, but we had them disable it before we took delivery! If they wouldn't do it, I would have with Techstream!
 

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LOL How would I know if I was in reverse without the beeping? Toyota's logic escapes me. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I find myself more in agreement with the thought train of safe driving being the responsibility of whoever is doing the driving. Toyota SafetySense 2.0 has increased perception of pedestrians than the previous version so that's still active, and the backup camera gives such a great view off the stern that I can't believe any competent driver could miss seeing someone front or back.

As for the audible level from inside, I've always been pretty aware of when the speaker is on even if I have music playing. Drowning out the sound is an option, hearing damage is not. If Toyota or a third party gives us the option to change the tone/volume/pattern/literally anything to make it more bearable, I would be in for hooking it back up, but so far that's not an option.
 

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I just can't resist jumping in. All of this annoyance is puzzling to me. What percent of the time you are in the vehicle when it is making this noise? It is fairly subtle going forward and true that it is louder in reverse. Honestly, I find the quizzical looks from pedestrians when I'm backing up to be a bit amusing. Two weeks ago I happened to be parked next to a CRV hybrid that backed up out of its parking space, and it's similar sounding chorus of angels soundtrack is not steady, rather, it cycles in a low speed warble.
The RAV could be worse. My 2016 Prius emits the typical beep beep, beep in reverse, but only in the interior ! You should read the bitching about that on the Prius forums. Ha!
I've had mine for over a year now and I dont really get all the annoyance from this. Of the 8-10 different people I've had in my car I explained the noise and most said they didnt notice until i told them about it.

One coworker asked what kind of stealth deathstar car did I buy after I left work one day.

My dad was a local union president use to say if he went around handing out $20 bills there would be people bitching they wanted two $10 bills instead.
 

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I wonder how people who are deaf and hard of hearing have survived all these years without hearing approaching cars.
 

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I wonder how people who are deaf and hard of hearing have survived all these years without hearing approaching cars.
Here's a screenshot of your original post that got emailed out. Despite a typo, I think you are trying to say that deaf people have survived all these years by keeping their eyes open. Huh. That sounds a lot like how blind people survive by keeping their ears open. Humans have the ability to compensate for the loss of one sense with another. I'd rather my visually impaired dad know a car is backing up by sound rather than feel.
158211
 

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As a man of science, I set out today to explore Toyota's Proximity Alert System which in my 2020 RAV4 Hybrid will emit a sound alerting nearby pedestrians that the vehicle is in a drive gear and may begin to move. I now share my findings so that they may be properly peer reviewed and evaluated, and the experiment tested by other people of science to verify its validity.

Items needed to perform this experiment:

1 flathead screwdriver
1 10mm socket (this may disqualify some of you from participating)
Wire cutters
1 knife / wire strippers
1 small sized paperclip (preferably with rubber coating)
30 minutes

The scientific process:

Using the flathead screwdriver, five retention clips can be disengaged and removed from the fan shroud.

Using the 10mm socket, two bolts can be removed from the front side of the fan shroud, freeing it from two clear mounting brackets.

Using the 10mm socket, three bolts can be removed from the hood latch. One must take care not to drop these bolts down into the engine.

The fan shroud can easily be flexed and removed from the vehicle.

It is at this point one will notice a speaker device attached to the vehicle near the center line of the vehicle. It is important to distinguish this speaker device from the two horn units that may look similar. Once located, the plug that leads into the speaker device from the left side may be unclipped, and one may find that if the vehicle is put into drive or reverse that it will move without emitting the high-pitched tone that some may find unpleasant to hear when the vehicle is in battery-only drive. Interesting.

But...an error message? Unacceptable. On the electronic dash display pops up, "Proximity Alert System malfunction: Visit your dealer." I think not.

In my highly scientific research I jammed a single strand of copper wire between the contacts within the cord which was unplugged from the speaker device and turned the ignition on again. I was once more presented with the error message. I theorized that there wasn't enough voltage passing between the contacts to complete the circuit. I attempted the same procedure with three strands of copper twisted tightly together using a high precision cordless drill, which seemed to pass enough power such that when the vehicle was turned on I could drive forward and backward without sound, and without error message.

But this bridge was not entirely faithful, as the ends had already begun to come undone upon insertion. Close observation revealed that my three strand prototype was roughly the same diameter as a small paperclip's metal core. Ever mindful of circuit shorts, I set out to find a plastic coated paperclip, which about one inch of could be used to make Bridge 2: Electric Boogaloo. A quick trip on the freshly calibrated blade of my pocketknife revealed roughly 1/4" of bare metal on each end, which slotted nicely into the plug's contacts and didn't leave live circuitry exposed for all the radiator to see. Driving results remained the same as with the copper, huzzah!

Conclusion:

Another ignition and drive test with our scientific paperclip installed revealed no tone emission or error appearance, so I securely covered the now-exposed plug ends and replaced the fan shroud to its original position. I suspect that this experiment could be repeated on other vehicles of similar build with similar results.

Additional information:

NHTSA mandates that any hybrid/electric vehicle built during or after September of 2020 be fitted with a device to emit sound when under non-gas engine drive to alert pedestrians of the vehicle's ability to move. I am a man of science, not of law, and I cannot encourage anyone else which way to interpret this ruling. All I know is that my vehicle was built well before this time, and that if I hear about Tesla retrofitting their older EVs with a PAS I will follow their lead. Conduct this experiment fully informed if you wish, and happy quiet driving.
I hate the angels singing!!!! There has to be a better sound track!!!
 

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I wonder how people who are deaf and hard of hearing have survived all these years without hearing approaching cars.
Sometimes they don't. I remember a case in NYC where a car proceeded through a green light and got killed by a speeding fire truck. (this was before they had the stuff to give the emergency vehicles green lights.) It was held to be the drivers fault. I'll grant that this is an unusual example, but it does happen.
 

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When you state "my vehicle is clearly audible when in motion." you don't seem to realize all the different potential environments it/you could encounter. Yes if it is operating in a quite area the tires and motor whine will be evident, but in a more chaotic environment a pedestrian may not hear the tires etc and you open yourself up to liability if they investigate and find you disabled your safety equipment. Why have brakes, they only slow you down?
 
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