What Should A Hybrid Sound Like?

Hybrid cars are feared for their silent, stealthy approach - in parking lots and on city streets. No one has been hurt, but that doesn't keep worry warts everywhere (not to mention trial lawyers) from thinking about it.

What sound should a silent electric car make?


(Quiet hybrid video)

Lotus, the maker of fine racing cars, thinks it has the answer.

Its ideas division, which works with other manufacturers, has used a Toyota Prius to synthesise the sound of a traditional engine which is then emitted through a loudspeaker mounted near the radiator.

It projects a realistic engine sound ahead of the car when it is running solely in electric mode and the sound changes depending on speed and throttle. The driver cannot hear any of the additional noise.

One of the people who commented on the original article opined "Wait ten years. Young louts will have electric cars with GIANT speakers. True, the cars will only get a mile per charge but that won't be the point, will it?" Then, the problem will be scaring the blind half to death, along with the rest of us.

Actually, I think this is a rather unimaginative approach. Now, what should a car sound like?

Fred Flintstone's feet?

How about the Jetson's car?

Do hybrid cars simply materialize next to you in a parking lot? How about a sound like the Star Trek transporter?

Update 11-May-2009: Found it! A reader left a comment that was almost right. In his 1985 novel The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, science fiction Grandmaster Robert Heinlein describes a replica Model T that is powered silently, but has a distinctive sound. See the entry for car sound tape. And thanks to reader Rod who almost had it, putting me on the right track. End update.

From Mail on Sunday; thanks to Moira for the tip on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/13/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 15 )

Related News Stories - (" Transportation ")

Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?

Volvo's Self-Driving Mining Trucks
'A procession of automatic ore carts was racing over the bleak slag' - Philip K. Dick, 1955

Musk Declares Tesla Supercharger Capacity Will Double By Next Year
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'- John Jacob Astor IV, 1894.

Ford's Autonomous Cabs 'Transportation As A Service'
'He was glad to crawl into his autocab and close the cover.' - Robert Heinlein, 1951.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style
'The world ... is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon.'

Tesla Driver Caught Napping Behind The Wheel
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining
'We must dig down, and then doubtless we shall find the metal.'

Ionocraft Drone Powered By Electrohydrodynamic Thrust
'He saw one hiss by him as he rounded the corner, trailing a short whip antenna...'

Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'

BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
It's the polite thing to do, and has been the polite thing to do for about four generations.

Superfast Replicator: Volumetric Additive Manufacturing
I can't wait. Bring it on.

DNA May Contain Malware
'You were told to embed the logical pathogen.'

I Can't Resist Worm Robots
'Seen close it was not completely flexible...'

Rplate Digital License Plates Now Legal In Michigan
'Gragg's digital ink license plates ...'

Can Musk Starship Astronauts Use Magnetic Boots?
'Walking awkwardly in the magnetic boots that held him to the black mass of meteoric iron...'

Giant Dolphin Spotted On Jupiter!
'Now at last he could appreciate its real size and complexity...'

Musk's Starship An SF Fan's Dream Come True
Perfect for testing, perfect for fans!

TinyMobileRobots Are Sewer Sentinels
Every movie monster gets its start someplace.

Fishy Facial Recognition Now Possible
'Palenkis can identify random line patterns better than any other species in the universe.'

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.