For people’s safety, electric cars will have to make noise but not the ‘vroom vroom’ type

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For people's safety, electric cars will have to make noise but not the 'vroom vroom' type
Tesla Model X. PICTURE BY Tesla

Each and every movement the car makes will be accompanied by a certain sound to show people that the car is moving, stopping, intending to move or to stop.


A senior technical officer at Volvo Cars has revealed that electric and self-driving cars will make noise for people’s safety.

Mikael Ljung Aust said such noise won’t be your usual “vroom vroom” while the self-driving car moves on our streets and roads.

“You will need to show that the car is intending to slow down well before the car actually has to slow down to stop in a particular place,” said Ljung Aust.

ALSO SEE: Toyota wants 50% of their cars to be electric by 2030

He said a sound for slowing down; if you have a rhythm that slows down, “that goes tickticktick, tick, tick, tick… tick… tick… tick… people universally interpret this as slowing down and vice versa”. 

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“If you are accelerating, if you play that sequence backwards and you go tick… tick… tick… tick, tick, tick, tickticktick, then you have acceleration,” he explained.

Ljung Aust said if you are listening to earphones and walking you could find yourself stepping out in front of a car.

“In that particular case, we are designing a warning sound that targets pedestrians with a sound beam. With the technology we are planning to use, it is going to be inaudible to everyone but the pedestrian. You use something called ultrasonics and you play them at different frequencies, and when they hit each other and when they hit the person, they modulate down into a hearable frequency range. It is really cool technology,” he said.

Pedestrians will also have time to cross a pedestrian crossing as the car will stop once it sees a stop sign.

“The car just stands there, breathing very slowly, and you feel it is safe to cross,” he said, adding that this will be of use to pedestrians who would want to cross a pedestrian crossing but not sure whether or not the car will actually stop.

– Mpumalanga News – 

(edited by ZK)

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