What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

NHTSA Proposes Adding Sound To Hybrid And Electric Cars

January 11, 2013, 4:46 PM

What's the Latest Development?

Earlier this week the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a proposed "quiet car rule" that would require manufacturers of hybrid and electric cars "to match the 'acoustic signal content' of traditional cars driving at under 18 miles an hour." The exact type of sound has been left open, but it does have to sound something like a car, and it must be consistent across all vehicles with the same make, model, and type. The rule is scheduled to be finalized by early next year and is open for public comment until early March, according to a press release on the NHTSA Web site.

What's the Big Idea?

Anyone who's ever been startled by a slow-moving Prius can understand why pedestrian advocates, who helped pushed through the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010, welcome this news. For the blind in particular, who rely on sounds to navigate, it's an especially important issue. Creative types, such as acoustic engineer Nick Antonio, had been imagining the kinds of sounds that could be used -- birdsong, for example -- but ultimately "this is a very practical document intended to save a lot of lives, [so] it has to be like this [for now]."

Gyuszko-Photo / Shutterstock.com

Read it at The Atlantic Cities


NHTSA Proposes Adding Sound...

Newsletter: Share: