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HomeSorted by levelC1 - AdvancedWhy quiet cars are getting louder?

Why quiet cars are getting louder?

A Mercedes-Benz sound expert analyzing a vehicle’s audio alert in the noise testing facility at the Mercedes-Benz Technology Center in Sindelfingen, Germany. – Một chuyên gia âm thanh của Mercedes-Benz phân tích cảnh báo âm thanh của một chiếc xe trong cơ sở kiểm tra tiếng ồn tại Trung tâm Công nghệ Mercedes-Benz ở Sindelfingen, Đức.

[Reading level: C1 – Advanced]

All electric vehicles in the U.S. will soon be required to make warning sounds so pedestrians can hear them coming.

 

Driving an electric vehicle in near silence can be a joy for those who don’t relish the rumble and whine of an internal combustion engine. But this hushed operation can be difficult to hear from more than a few feet away, making it a deadly problem for the vision-impaired who can’t see a vehicle approaching.

 

Equipping such vehicles with audible alerts is vital, says Claire Stanley, an advocacy and outreach specialist for the American Council of the Blind.

 

“As blind individuals, we learn to travel across streets and maneuver through cities by reading the sound of traffic around us,” she said. “But the silent nature of electric cars suddenly robs us of such clues.”

 

Governments around the world have told automakers to turn up the volume for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. Japan issued guidelines for acoustic vehicle alerting systems in January 2010, with the United States and the European Union announcing regulations soon after. But the requirements differ among countries, both in terms of what the warning sound can be and when it should activate.

 

In the European Union, an alerting system that sounds like an internal combustion engine and generates noise at speeds below 20 kilometers per hour (about 12 miles per hour) must now be installed in every new electric vehicle. Existing electric vehicles are required to incorporate the device by July 2021.

 

From September 2020, the United States will require all fully electric vehicles and hybrids operating in electric-only mode to make a sound at speeds below 18.6 m.p.h. While that window might seem overly precise — why not 19? — the number is based on research showing that the electric motor and tires make enough noise at speeds above that value to alert pedestrians in time to avoid a mishap.

 

Mercedes-Benz developed audio alert systems for its vehicles sold in Japan, China, the United States and Europe at its acoustic test facility in Sindelfingen, Germany. Sounds for the Asian markets and the European Union are similar, while the tone for American cars is different.

 

Tobias Beitz, the head of sound quality and design at Daimler, the company that owns Mercedes-Benz, said the automaker had created a “pleasant and natural” sound.

 

“The system does not generate any science-fiction sounds that are strangely imposed on the car, but emphasizes the already existing noise of the vehicle and blends in seamlessly with the overall sound,” he said.

 

A Jaguar technical specialist, testing the I-PACE’s acoustic vehicle alert system inside the cockpit. – Một chuyên gia kỹ thuật của Jaguar, đang thử nghiệm hệ thống cảnh báo âm thanh của chiếc I-PACE bên trong buồng lái.

Jaguar has developed an audio alert system for its all-electric I-PACE luxury crossover that complies with both the European and American regulations. According to a news release, the alert was originally designed to sound like a spacecraft, but that version was shelved because it caused many pedestrians to look at the sky rather than the road. The sound settled on is mechanical in nature and sounds vaguely like the marriage of an electric motor and an internal combustion engine.

 

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/24/business/electric-vehicle-noises-nhtsa.html

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