Science fiction writers always seem to think that cars of the future would sound like flying saucers. They would make noises like the Jetsons’ flying car or like something from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. When the modern electric car arrived, they made no noise at all. The Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3 both accelerate silently, but in July 2019 legislators said this has to change.
三级成人视频The reason for this is, of course, safety. In the United States, lobbying for electric vehicles to make noise was started by organisations representing blind people. The call was also taken up by UK and European organisations such as the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB). Then on July 1, 2019, the EU legislated that automakers have until July 2021 to phase in an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) on their cars that operates at up to 20kph (12.4mph) and 18.6mph/30kph in the US.
Now the question is all about what sound an electric vehicle (EV) should make. A number of years ago, Renault introduced something called RS Monitor on its sporty hatchbacks. One of the elements was a choice of sounds inside the car, ranging from a motorbike to an alien spacecraft. It’s a gimmick, of course, only audible to those inside the car and while it’s a bit of fun, it is rather cheesy.
Safety is a more serious matter. A survey by optometrist Vision Express found that 76 per cent of those questioned said they feel unsafe because EVs make no noise. It’s a sentiment backed up by statistics. The RNIB states that pedestrians are 40 per cent more likely to be hit by a silent-running hybrid or EV.
三级成人视频Between 2000 and 2008, around 25,000 people were injured by an EV or hybrid-electric vehicle in the US. The figure is only 10 per cent of those pedestrians injured by a car with an internal combustion engine, but it’s still a figure that needs addressing, particularly as sales of EVs have increased dramatically in recent years.
The traditional concept of “stop, look, listen” when crossing the road loses that final element when a car does not make any noise.
三级成人视频One company working on a solution is Harman, an automotive audio supplier that currently provides more than 44 per cent of audio systems to the world’s automakers. It has been working on a system called Electronic Sound Synthesis since 2009 which projects sound from speakers in the front and rear of a car.
三级成人视频At its campus near Munich, Germany, Harman is now testing what it calls its and it recently demonstrated the technology to us. During the test we heard different noises; one a flying saucer-type sound and the other a noise more like a regular car. Automakers are able to tailor the sound to suit their needs, which opens up plenty of possibilities.
三级成人视频According to Sebastian Krueger, acoustics systems engineer at Harman, the rules regarding the sound an EV has to make will vary depending on the type of vehicle and its application. The sound can be used to differentiate one brand from another, something the automakers are very keen to achieve. Historically, it’s been relatively easy to identify some cars based purely on their sound.
A Porsche 911 or Subaru WRX have distinctive engine and exhaust notes, but you would find it much harder to distinguish between a Ford Focus and a Vauxhall Astra. Sound synthesis could allow this brand differentiation when it comes to a car company’s electric vehicles, however.
三级成人视频The same is true for the vehicle type. It’s not just cars that are affected by the new legislation but vans, lorries, buses and anything with four wheels. All will need to have a distinctive sound while operating within the parameters of the legislation.
三级成人视频What is still under discussion is how much involvement the driver will be able to have in the sound their car makes. Should a driver be able to make their Nissan Leaf sound like a turbocharged sports car? Should they be able to make their Mercedes EQC sound like its AMG petrol-engined sibling? Or should an owner be able to make their car sound like a spaceship? There is a danger that some sounds could be just as confusing for pedestrians.
While there are a few details still to be worked out, EVs are going to make their presence felt by making a bit of noise. Perhaps Elon Musk will send an over-the-air update to all Teslas so that they play David Bowie’s Space Oddity as you cruise through town.
To talk all things motoring with the Telegraph Cars team join the Telegraph Motoring Club Facebook group