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Audi Gives Silent Electric Car Synthetic Sound 402

Posted by timothy
from the millions-to-be-made-in-downloadable-cartones dept.
itwbennett writes "Audi's electric cars are quiet, maybe too quiet, which is why Audi spent 3 years creating replicated engine noise for its electric car models. We're so conditioned to the noise of an engine revving that a driver behind the wheel of a too-quiet car may not realize how fast he's driving, and a pedestrian relying on auditory clues may be unaware of an approaching vehicle, says Ralf Kunkel, Head of Audi Acoustics." Nissan's been on this for years (as has Honda); one day, you may only get to choose which noise your car makes, rather than whether it does.
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Audi Gives Silent Electric Car Synthetic Sound

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  • by doston (2372830) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @04:42PM (#39664765)
    I live in downtown Seattle and sometimes the noise is a bit much. The worst are the hogs that are designed to be incredibly noisy. People need to WATCH where they're going (look both ways, morons) and LOOK at the speedometer. And no, I'm not moving to some suburb or the country. It's not a living nightmare or anything, but I hardly see any good reason, other than just supporting stupidity, to actually put work into creating noise.
  • by BagOBones (574735) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @04:50PM (#39664881)

    Exactly why would it need to sound like a regular car.

    Spend any time down town Vancouver and you will start to appreciate them having a little sound of some kind... Something like over 50% of the cabs in Vancouver are Toyota Prius and they sneak up on you all day long as a pedestrian.

  • by Grayhand (2610049) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @04:56PM (#39665019)
    Look at it this way, some one was just killed by a bicycle and the blind deal with those everyday and they are just as quiet. 99% of the people benefiting from the sound will in fact be people that can't be bothered to look first. I've had gasoline running cars that were silent enough I didn't hear them approach. There does seem to be a touch of insanity making regulations that require noise pollution. Whether it's hydrogen or battery electric motor driven vehicles are likely the future so are we now setting a standard that we are committing to a future of gasoline engine sounding cars from here on out? To me it seems a little like demanding cars make the sound of horse hooves a 100 years ago so people were more comfortable with the transition.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12, 2012 @05:47PM (#39665911)

    Two words: blind people.

    100% bullshit.

    You don't hear a car approaching because of the engine, you hear the tires on the road more than anything. Modern cars make VERY little noise from the engine, and what little they do produce is directed BEHIND it.

    This isn't an issue that blind people are worried about. This is an issue that politicians are trying to use to gain personal publicity by pretending THEY care about blind people...ironically more than blind people care about themselves.

    In reality, bicycles are a far greater danger to blind people because they make much less noise than even an electric car, while simultaneously having no interest in obeying any traffic laws.

  • I take it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by publiclurker (952615) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @05:51PM (#39665981)
    You've never been in a parking lot with any of these electric cars. Without any engine noise, it's hard enough for a sighted person to tell if a car is going to back up or not. I'd hate to be my blind co-worker.