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

Login or Create new account to add a comment!

Recommended

Volkswagen Group’s dieselgate saga continues, but it appears the German company would be able to get out of trouble, but it would not be unscathed. This development comes as Volkswagen...
by - January 22, 2017
When a car has been in the market for nearly six years, it loses some of its luster and its customers tend to go for the all-new model with a...
by - January 22, 2017
Remember Zenos Cars, a British carmaker that specializes in designing and building lightweight and high-performance sports cars? If you are wondering how the company is faring with their E10 lightweight...
by - January 21, 2017
Mercedes-Benz has revealed that in 2017, its series 124 coupé will be celebrating its 30th anniversary. While this itself is a significant event, it will also mean that this model...
by - January 21, 2017
BMW’s 550i xDrive has long been considered as one of the most successful business sedans in the world. For the brand, this may not be enough as it has officially...
by - January 20, 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