EU rules to add fake sounds to electric and hybrid vehicles

Market Expertz   |     July 04, 2019

 

The European Union has issued a new rule that requires all new models of electric and hybrid vehicles built and sold in the region to be equipped with an acoustic sound system. Electric vehicles, though a great solution to the pollution problem, can be dangerous as pedestrians might find it challenging to hear quiet electric and hybrid vehicles near them. As an internal combustion engine is absent in electric cars, they are a lot quieter than their gas-powered variant. This is especially troublesome for people who are visually impaired. The sound will be produced by an acoustic vehicle alert system (AVAS), which will resemble the sound made by a standard internal combustion engine. Drivers will have the option of temporarily disabling the noise.

Vehicles will need to create a sound when reversing, or going below the speed of 12 miles per hour. Micheal Ellis, Roads minister, the UK, stated that the government wishes to let everyone get the benefits of green transport, and wants to address the concerns of visually impaired people about the potential threat posed by noiseless electric vehicles, and the new rule will provide pedestrians confidence when crossing the road. Manufacturers will be able to customize the sound made by their AVAS, although the EU’s legislation needs the sound to be similar to and not louder than a standard combustion engine. It should also give pedestrians an indication of what the vehicle is doing, for example, alerting them of the vehicle’s speed by synchronizing it with the sound.

While Nissan had announced a concept vehicle in 2017 that can ‘sing’ as it drives, Jaguar has also revealed the sound that will be installed in its I-Pace. BMW tasked famous film score composer Hans Zimmer to create driving sounds for the electric BMW Vision M Next concept car. The sound has been recorded with acoustic engineer Renzo Vitale and sound engineer at the BMW Group, which may be used in the company’s next-generation electric vehicles.

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