stories filed under: "sounds"
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Oct 15th 2009 10:01am
Last year, we pointed out that some car companies were experimenting with adding fake engine noises to their cars, after complaints were heard that hybrid and electric vehicles were "too quiet" and sneaking up on people. Apparently, those original experiments are turning into a groundswell. After some politicians decided to put forth legislation requiring such sounds, apparently lots of car companies are adding sounds to their cars, such as Nissan's recently announced plan to include futuristic Blade Runner-style sounds. Reading through that NY Times article, it seems like the car companies are less concerned about the safety issues, but are excited about the idea of opening up a new market for selling "car tones" -- like ringtones, but for your car noise. Can't we just set it to vibrate? In the meantime, there appears to be no evidence that these hybrid and electric "menaces" are causing any more accidents in their "silent, but deadly" current state.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Sep 22nd 2009 5:55am
Nissan To Add Futuristic Sound Effects To Its Electric Car To Keep It From Hitting Unaware Pedestrians
from the so-that's-why-they-sound-that-way dept
Ever wonder why futuristic vehicles in science fiction movies have loud whirring/buzzing noises? Perhaps it's because of people worried about pedestrians getting hit by silent vehicles. You may recall that there has been some effort underway to push the makers of hybrid or electric vehicles to add engine noises to their cars, because the electric engines are "too quiet" and unsuspecting pedestrians who fail to look both ways are getting hit. Or so we're told. I've yet to see much actual evidence of the rash of pedestrians-hit-by-Priuses, but the story has gained some legs. In fact, some politicians are even pushing for government mandates to require such cars to be noisier. In an effort to live up to any such requirements, while still making its all electric vehicle still feel futuristic, apparently Nissan is looking to add those Blade Runner-style vehicle noises to the upcoming Nissan Leaf. There's no functional reason for it, other than that they want to make the car noisier, and fake engine noises didn't seem as fun (or, one would imagine, marketable).