Nissan electric cars to warn pedestrians by ‘singing’ 0

Nissan IMx Concept

Nissan IMx Concept

One of the public’s biggest concerns about electric cars is the noise they make – or more accurately, the lack of it. Superficially, this may sound like a good thing but it can actually present a problem as vehicle noise is one of the key warnings that alerts pedestrians of oncoming traffic. The silent engines of electric cars propel vehicles along at the same dangerous speeds, but with only a fraction of the noise.

Nissan however, may have come up with a novel solution to this particular problem. The Japanese car maker is experimenting with the concept of its cars ‘singing’, with a series of melodic notes replacing the growl of petrol or diesel engines.

Along with Tesla and several other car giants, Nissan has been at the forefront of electric vehicle development. The car maker was the first to introduce artificial car sounds when it debuted the idea on the 2011 Nissan Leaf.

The singing concept, called ‘Canto’, will vary in pitch depending on whether the car is accelerating, decelerating or reversing – sounding similar to electronic music.

Nissan was impressing all and sundry at the recent Tokyo Motor Show with its IMx concept car, which would use the Cantro warning car song. The car is also capable of up to 600 km of autonomous operation.

Carmakers are being encouraged the world over to consider the silent aspect of electric cars; the EU in particular passed a ruling in 2014 stating that all electric vehicles should make some sort of warning noise by 2019.

Traffic noise may be unpleasant but is extremely important where roads are concerned, especially for blind or visually impaired pedestrians, allowing them to listen out for the sound of oncoming vehicles.

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