Electric vehicles must warn pedestrians by emitting noise, says the EU
The common problem a lot of people have with electric cars is the lack of sound the batteries and electric motors produce. In fact, it is thought that not only does the lack of sound lessen the driving experience of a car, it could also be considered dangerous for pedestrians.
The EU has recently decided to tackle the second issue and is forcing all electric vehicles to emit noise through an Acoustic Vehicle Alert System – or AVAS. The system must make noise of more than 56dB when the car is travelling at speeds lower than 20kmh. In fact, at these speeds, sound from wind and road resistance isn’t considered loud enough to warn pedestrians when crossing the road.
The new law will hit both private and personal vehicle and comes into effect on July 1st. As well as adding the required speakers to the exterior of the car, manufacturers will also have to ensure the sound produced varies depending on the rate of acceleration. In fact, the law requires the sound to give an idea on the speed the car is travelling similarly to an internal combustion engine.
This new law seems to benefit the audio company, Harmann which has been developing an AVAS for over ten years. Its system is called the external Electronic Sound Synthesis – eESS for short – which it is hoping to sell to manufacturers to help them meet the tight deadline.
Essentially, the system is comprised of speakers at the front and rear of the car connected to speed and throttle sensors that can change the tone and volume of the sound emitted. Manufacturers can upload their own sound to the system to bring it in line with the rest of their range or give a sporty car a good sound.
Finally, the eESS also allows for interior speakers to reflect what can be heard from the outside. Not only would this improve the driving experience of what are very quiet electric vehicles, it would also make it easier to judge what the car’s doing and even let you know if the car is running or not.