A new EU-funded system designed to make electric vehicles emit low-level noise could significantly increase pedestrian safety, it has been claimed.
Dubbed eVADER - which stands for Electric Vehicle Alert for Detection and Emergency Response - the system has been produced in a collaboration which involved car makers PSA Peugeot Citroen, Renault and Nissan.
The eVADER system, which could shortly feature on production cars, comprises a camera built into the windscreen which can recognise pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles. Six speakers fitted to the car then emit a low-level sound to warn of the EV’s presence. The sound is around five decibels lower than the sound of a conventional engine.
Several sounds were used in trials, but sirens were quickly ruled out, says Nissan, because they were “found to be irritating, loud and, in some cases, emotionally distressing to other road users.”
The development of the system is partly in response to research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US, which found that electric vehicles were twice as likely to have an accident involving a pedestrian at low speeds, compared to a conventionally powered car.