Currently reading: Toyota launches 'noisy' Prius
Japanese buyers will be able to specify their Prius with a noise-making device to warn pedestrians

Toyota is to fit Prius models in Japan with a noise-making device to warn pedestrians of the car's presence.

The Prius is near-silent at low speeds and has attracted criticism from pedestrians who are unaware of it approaching. The ‘on-board approaching vehicle audible system’ will initially only be available in Japan, where earlier this year the government issued guidelines on hybrid noise; it will cost 12,600 yen (£100).

Read more on Japan's plans to 'un-silence' hybrids

The sound comes from a speaker mounted under the bonnet, and will vary in pitch relative to the speed of the car to help indicate the vehicle’s proximity and movement.

Groups representing blind people have led calls for regulations on noise, requiring manufacturers to add a sound that would alert cyclists and pedestrians alike.

Last year a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US found that hybrids were twice as likely to be involved in a pedestrian accident as conventional cars.

Read more on Chevrolet testing a noise-emitting device for the Volt

When Nissan launches its electric Leaf next year, it will equip it as standard with a turbine sound akin to an aeroplane taking off. The device will only work at speeds up to 30mph; at higher speeds tyre and aerodynamic noise will be sufficiently loud.

Rules regarding the noise of electric and hybrid vehicles are also expected to be introduced in the US and Europe.

Alan Riddoch

See all the latest Toyota Prius reviews, news and video

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FriendlyFisherman 26 August 2010

Re: Toyota launches 'noisy' Prius

Leslie Brook wrote:
I used something similar on my bike when I was young. Playing cards sellotaped to the forks so that they stuck in the spokes. The bike made a "frapp" noise that varied with speed and alerted dog walkers to my approach. It also allowed a 7 year old me to pretend he was driving a motorbike, vroom vroom.

I had Spokey Dokes on my BMX when I was 9, brilliant idea. Alternatively, a speaker in the grill saying "self righteous bell end coming through" on a loop will do the job...

catnip 26 August 2010

Re: Toyota launches 'noisy' Prius

Leslie Brook wrote:
catnip wrote:
(Is that an Austin Ambassador Y-reg?)
Don't keep asking me Y-reg it just happens to be that year.


Flash Harry 26 August 2010

Re: Toyota launches 'noisy' Prius

When are they launching the 'interesting' Prius???!!!!