Daimler EVs getting artificial engine noise to increase safety

Article by Anita Panait, on January 2, 2014

An electric car could be so silent that it may not alert pedestrians that it is incoming or cruising down the street. As for Daimler’s e-Smart city car, its sound engineers addressed the issue by creating artificial noise similar to those heard from conventional engines. Sound engineer Christoph Meier, head of powertrain acoustics at Daimler, and his team invented a “sonorous purring” -- pitched higher than conventional vehicles – for the e-Smart city car, and a huskier noise for the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive to signify its power.

“People expect some exterior noise from a vehicle, because we all grew up with the ‘vroom vroom’ of combustion engines,” Meier remarked. Daimler, however, is not the only carmaker adding fake noise to electric cars to address safety as well as make their offerings stand out.

Renault SA also provided its Zoe hatchback with three noise choices and Nissan Motor Co. has endowed its Leaf EV with artificial sound. Carmakers will have to prepare for an expected move by regulators to require them to install warning noises on their vehicles as early as 2014. Artificial motor noise could save lives while protecting investments in electric cars.

Since electric vehicles are almost soundless while cruising at low speeds, they could be a possible silent threat for cyclists and pedestrians who are more reactive when hearing sounds of vehicle engines.

Accidents caused by soundless EVs could affect demand, which is still struggling despite recent gains. “If a silent electric vehicle knocks over an elderly person or a child, it’s not worth the risk,” said Neil King, an analyst with Euromonitor told Bloomberg. “It happens often enough in urban areas that people are stepping into the road without looking. You can’t get around that.” [source: Bloomberg]

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

J.D. Power has officially released the 2017 Vehicle Dependability Study, an annual list of the most dependable brands in the auto industry. Once again coming on top is Lexus, the...
by - February 26, 2017
Citroen revealed that its entry to the Chinese market is moving forward with the planned release of the new generation C5. While still on sale on this part of the...
by - February 26, 2017
There is definitely a second-generation Super Series from McLaren. Even in camouflaged form, it is simply incredible. But while we still don’t have the full data on how truly dynamic...
by - February 25, 2017
A lot of fans are excited with the news that Porsche could be unveiling a performance version of its Panamera 4 E-Hybrid plug-in hybrid during the 2017 Geneva Auto Show. ...
by - February 25, 2017
Tesla is finally setting a more “definite” schedule with regards to the official launch of the Tesla Model 3 electric car. A “limited production” is said to be slated to...
by - February 25, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries