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jkp1187 06-05-2010 08:25 AM

ARTICLE: Automakers Reach Agreement on Sound for Electric Cars
Ah, nothing so heartwarming as when advocacy groups team up with lawyers to set mandates for the rest of is, is there? ;)

Automakers Reach Agreement on Sound for Electric Cars


Originally Posted by
....[B]lind advocacy groups have been working with automakers for two years to reach a consensus on whether and how electric cars should be equipped with sounds. Recently an agreement was reached.

Automakers will equip their electric cars with audible pedestrian alert signals that will not be driver activated. These chirping sounds would automatically be emitted when the car operates at low speeds to let pedestrians know that it is nearby.

When the first generation Volt goes on sale later this year it will be equipped with a manually activated pedestrian alert, however when the new agreement goes into effect, the sound will have to be automatic. Nissan has equipped the electric LEAF with an automated chirp....

Mark Perry, marketing director for Nissan said the LEAFs’ sound will be revealed to the public next week in Japan. Earlier reports indicated it would sound like the flying cars in the movie Blade Runner....

The often proposed idea of downloadable ring tones for electric cars cars seems unlikely. ”We do hate the idea of ring tones,” said Chris Danielsen, a spokesman for the National Federation of the Blind, . “We think manufacturers should decide the sound or set of sounds, and drivers should not able to alter them willy-nilly....”

ShadeTreeMech 06-05-2010 09:49 AM

LOL, I always thought regular cars were pretty silent as well. And why would an electric car be harder to see than a regular car....wait a minute, it's the blind people who are worried about many blind people are on the sidewalks compared to the sighted people?? Is it more than 1%?? Seems a bit excessive to me!

RobertSmalls 06-05-2010 10:04 AM

My gas fired car is mostly silent in parking lots, and I haven't had any problems.

I would convert that system to manual operation really quickly. I find it very peaceful to coast to a stop and listen to the sounds of nature and human activity, rather than having it all drowned out by your own clattering engine.

jkp1187 06-05-2010 10:12 AM

Seriously. Gasoline cars are pretty quiet nowadays, especially at low speeds. I was walking in my housing complex a few weeks ago, and heard some tire-on-road noise behind me, so I stepped out of the street without looking, figuring it was one of the hybrids that 'live' here in electric mode.

It wasn't. It was a Honda Pilot. I was really surprised at that. Didn't hear the engine at all.

(But I DID hear more than enough noise to warn me that a car was approaching.)

The thing that really annoys me about this is the "no one should be able to change it" attitude. I agree - if I get an EV in the future, this'll be the first thing to get modded.

RobertSmalls 06-05-2010 10:18 AM

Haha... I will have a customized "ringtone" that sounds like tires on pavement. The pitch and amplitude will vary with speed to give blind people an idea of how fast I'm going. And, to save on cost, complexity, and energy, it'll be a completely passive system. :rolleyes:

Bicycle Bob 06-05-2010 12:22 PM

This should have been a simple imitation of an engine. People know what it means, and can tune it out subconsciously. We have had a rash of water-main troubles around here, and could sleep through the noise of the excavators, but not their bleeping back-up alarms, which were totally redundant in that situation.

dcb 06-05-2010 01:21 PM

I gotta second the engine noise thing. That is an intuitive "look out" noise. Chirp? WTF?

cfg83 06-05-2010 02:14 PM

Hello -

I third the engine noise emulation.


jkp1187 06-05-2010 02:25 PM

Engine noise is my third choice, behind Blade Runner car noise and just regular old silence. :)

cfg83 06-05-2010 02:45 PM

jkp1187 -


Originally Posted by jkp1187 (Post 177687)
Engine noise is my third choice, behind Blade Runner car noise and just regular old silence. :)

Or maybe the sound of the Giant Ants in THEM (go to 1:24) :
The sound actually came from a worn out pump on a car that was pulling into the Warner Brothers parking lot.


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