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Nissan Leaf will break the EV silence with a digital whistle

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Nissan Leaf will break the EV silence with a digital whistle [w/video]

by Autoblog Staff (RSS feed) on Jun 14th 2010 at 9:30AM

Nissan Leaf EV sound - Click above for video after the jump

As we get closer to seeing significant numbers of electric vehicles come to market, various standards are starting to emerge that cover things like how these vehicles are to be charged and how to measure range and equivalent mileage. One feature that remains up in the air is the sound signature of electric vehicles. For years, EV advocates have touted the silent operation of battery-powered vehicles as a bonus.

However, advocates for the blind and safety regulators are pushing for electric vehicles to produce some audible alert that indicates their presence. According to Just-Auto, beginning next week, Nissan will be bringing in 500 people including media, government officials and customers who have signed up to buy the Leaf to drive the car at its Oppama, Japan test track.

Among other things, they will be evaluating the "approaching vehicle sound" that will be used for the Leaf and Fuga (Infiniti M37) hybrid. Nissan is testing a system that produces external sounds that sweep across a range of frequencies to insure that almost anyone can hear it. The sound will also vary depending on whether the car is accelerating or decelerating. Follow the jump to hear a sample of what the Leaf will sound like, which to our ears is something like a robot whistling dixie. Top tip, Tohe!



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I'm sure the video affects the sound quality some, but it sounds a bit harsh & annoying to me. Might very well be a bit better in real life. Hope so anyway.

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"It became clear that it was much more involved than just adding a sound effect."

4 years and thousands of man-hours later.... and nissan added a sound effect.

"VSP System" - Man, are people full of themselves.

The noise itself, at least thru the video, is somewhat disturbing and largely unidentifiable. Sounds like a combination of a high pitched whistle and the glurg heard thru long sections of plastic pipe. I can't imagine the consensus from the visually impared was 'car'. Weird.

Edited by balthazar

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