Audi will take a different apparoach to the artificial sound of its EVs, inspired by 'I, Robot'

Audi has announced that its approach to artificial noise for EVs will be “new and unusual”.

“The obvious approach would be to work on the basis of the familiar sound of a combustion engine,” the firm has said, but links with the Audi RSQ from the Hollywood film 'I, Robot' have been mentioned by the company.

Audi is the latest manufacturer to work on artificial noise for EVs and the new technology will be implemented as a safety feature to make EVs audible to pedestrians.

Read Autocar's full story on the Audi e-tron Spyder from the Paris show

Audi acoustics boss Ralf Kunkel says: “We speak of quiet cars when an electric car is driven at a speed between 0 and 25km/h [16mph]." Audi hopes to bridge the audible gap to 16mph, which the company is currently developing for its range of e-tron concepts.

Toyota's Japanese car dealerships have already introduced an 'approaching vehicle audible system', which emits synthesised sound of an electric motor with a pitch that rises and falls with the car's oncoming speed.

Nissan, too, is developing a similar system for its electric Leaf.

See all the latest Audi reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
7

3 November 2010

As long as it doesn't sound like my mother-in-law I don't mind

3 November 2010

I thought all EVs and in fact all vehicles had a built in safety feature for warning pedestrians and other road users of their presence.

It's called a horn!

3 November 2010

Expect a new range of regulations from Europe then - it must sound like this...no louder than that...but quieter than this...and cannot be like this or that...etc etc etc etc to boredome and death!

To live is to drive

3 November 2010

I thought this had been dispelled in earlier threads as enough of the noise apparently comes from tyre and road contact. Milk floats seemed to work fine in their day and the odd few you still see don't make artificial sounds.

3 November 2010

[quote Walking]I thought this had been dispelled in earlier threads as enough of the noise apparently comes from tyre and road contact. Milk floats seemed to work fine in their day and the odd few you still see don't make artificial sounds.[/quote]

You're right, most of the noise comes from tyre roar, which is why Audi are only interested in speeds from 0-16mph. As for milk floats, they are actually quite noisy and don't move as quickly as modern electric vehicles.

3 November 2010

I can think of some buses that could do with this – especially the London bendy-bus where the engine is 17 metres behind the front of the vehicle and all you hear is the rattle of the front suspension.

jch

3 November 2010

[quote Autocar]Audi has announced that its approach to artificial noise for EVs will be “new and unusual”.

Read the full article[/quote] I notice several responses refer to "tyre noise", these folk are obviously not hearing impaired or indeed 'getting older'. It's like the streets made "shared space", apparently great for everyone unless you are blind! Couple that with electric (and silent) cars...

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run