Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
Electric vehicles are quiet. Maybe too quite, at least at lower speeds. However, Jaguar has a plan for their new electric vehicle (EV), the I-Pace.
"The absence of traditional engine noise from electric vehicles creates a problem for vulnerable pedestrians, such as the blind or visually impaired," said Iain Suffield, a technical specialist at Jaguar. "This is especially true at low speeds in town centres and car parks. We developed the Audible Vehicle Alert System for the [I-Pace] to ensure the safety of all road users. Our potentially life-saving technology cannot be switched off and as the leading charity for people with sight loss, we are pleased to have the support of Guide Dogs to ensure real people are at the heart of our product testing"
Jaguar said that its staff worked for nearly four years to develop the perfect noise for its vehicles. It claims that the noise, which is emitted from a speaker nested behind the vehicle's front grille, is audible to those outside of the car, yet cannot be heard in the cabin. Sound engineers tested the car in urban environments and even special echo-free chambers to ensure that the noise would be effective.
Science fiction writer Robert Heinlein predicted this in his 1985 novel The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, introducing the idea of an automotive sound tape for otherwise silent cars.
Starting about 2150 or a little bit earlier... supreme swank for an Iowa farmer was to own and drive a working replica of a twentieth century "automobile" personal transport vehicle. Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil: Even the People's Republic of South Africa had laws against placing poisons in the air. But with its Shipstone concealed and a sound tape to supply the noise of a soi-disant "IC" engine, the difference between a working replica and a real "automobile" was not readily apparent.