Horn honking should be eliminated from security and convenience technology and restored to its intended purpose as a warning device in all next generation vehicles.
Remote entry honking is filling residential neighborhoods with unnecessary noise as drivers announce:
“My car is locked!” (Honk!) and “My car is unlocked!” (Honk! Honk!) This occurs hundreds of times each day in many areas, and is not limited to urban settings.
The horn’s function is to startle, command attention, and warn of imminent danger. Additional scientific inquiry is not required to prove that horn honking evokes a physiological stress response. That is why noise ordinances prohibit unnecessary honking. But in spite of laws and common sense, most vehicles
are now equipped with factory-installed technology that uses honking even though there are quieter options available. Many vehicle owners opt for the honk confirmation without considering its impact on neighbors, pedestrians, and other drivers.
At this time, horn honking is emerging in newer “convenience” technologies as well:
Honking to “announce” vehicle remote start
Honking remotely with a phone app to “relock” already locked doors
even though the car is miles away and the driver won’t hear the confirmation sound
Honking is used in vehicle “panic alarm” and “car finder” technology
Honking is featured as a turn-signal “warning” sound in electric vehicles
Auto manufacturers spend billions of dollars to build greener vehicles. Green innovations include vehicles that run quietly and feature quiet interiors. This effort should be broadened by removing unnecessary, intrusive, stress-inducing horn honking from remote entry and other convenience-based technologies. Otherwise, a vehicle will not meet the truest green standards.
You may not have experienced the effects of this technology. But if you move to a new home, if a new neighbor moves in, if your child is assigned to a college dorm that faces a parking lot, if a loved one moves to an apartment facing a street with any kind of parking turnover, you or someone you care about could easily experience its impact. None of us who are currently affected by this technology ever dreamed that this noise would become part of our daily lives.