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.