Currently reading: Audi's 'unusual sounding' EVs
Audi will take a different apparoach to the artificial sound of its EVs, inspired by 'I, Robot'
Autocar
News
1 min read
3 November 2010

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

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jch 3 November 2010

Re: Audi's 'unusual sounding' EVs

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

Read the full article

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...

Flyingscud 3 November 2010

Re: Audi's 'unusual sounding' EVs

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.

Will86 3 November 2010

Re: Audi's 'unusual sounding' EVs

Walking wrote:
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.

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.