Cars that go “boing” – the sound of the future

It has long been known that electric cars are so much quieter than their internal combustion counterparts.  This poses problems for pedestrians, particularly the blind, who rely on hearing when crossing a road. 

Now that sales of electric cars are increasing significantly, manufacturers are beginning to think seriously about ways to overcome this problem. Bloomberg reports that virtually every manufacturer of electric cars is now doing research into the sorts of sounds that they might add back into their vehicles in order to make them more audible. 

One team over at Nissan Motors “came up with a high-pitched sound reminiscent of the flying cars in Blade Runner”,  while “Tokyo-based Datasystem Co. makes a device selling for 12,800 yen ($140) that emits 16 different sounds including a cat’s meow, a cartoon-like “boing” and a human voice saying, “Excuse me.”’

Quite frankly, I don’t know why they are bothering. Eventually what will happen is that individuals will download their own personal car sounds just as they now do with cell phone ringtones. Fuck, we’re in for an annoying future.

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4 Responses

  1. Jeebus.

  2. “Jeebus”? Is that the sort of sound you want your car to make?

  3. Even more annoying for the people *inside* the car! I’m guessing the manufacturers aren’t building in special “blind person sensors”, so presumably the cars will spit out bursts of annoying noise, what – every time they sense a person nearby? Or anything nearby? Continuously?

    In rush hour, those options are pretty much the same… the poor car radio won’t get a look in. And how will I know if my phone rings in all that din? Arghh.

    • Apparently they’re only going to make a noise up to 20kph because higher than that you can hear the tires. But rush hour…. Hmmm.

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