BMW considers adding artificial sounds to make Electric Vehicles safer

News | January 6th, 2011 by 18
bmw megacity sketches 13 750x500 BMW considers adding artificial sounds to make Electric Vehicles safer

Automotive News reports on BMW’s potential plans to add artificial sounds to its electric vehicles to make them safer to pedestrians. According to the magazine, …

Automotive News reports on BMW’s potential plans to add artificial sounds to its electric vehicles to make them safer to pedestrians.

According to the magazine, BMW’s competitors Audi and Mercedes-Benz have already begun developing specific-sounds for their EVs.

BMW is weighing whether to add artificial sounds to its electric vehicles to make them safer to pedestrians. German rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz say that they already have started developing brand-specific sounds while Nissan and Infiniti have revealed the solutions they will use to ensure that their EVs don’t pose a danger to people when traveling at low speeds.

bmw megacity sketches 13 655x287 BMW considers adding artificial sounds to make Electric Vehicles safer

BMW spokesman in charge for the future electric vehicles family, Tobias Hahn, said the BMW and MINI prototype electric cars currently are not equipped with active sound systems that add artificial noise at low speeds.

“However we have been looking into possible technical solutions for a while and we would be able to add such a feature to our vehicles should this turn out to be a real problem. We are also cooperating with organizations for the visibly impaired in Germany.”

In summer of 2011, BMW will roll-out a new field trial, ActiveE, an electric vehicle conversion based on the 1 Series Coupe. Two years after the kick-off of this field trial, BMW will launch their first built-from-the-ground-up electric vehicle, Megacity.

While Mr. Hahn has not offered more details on the technology piece behind the artificial sounds, the competitors have been more open about it. Mercedes is said to deliver a naturally produced sound that warns pedestrians but does not mimic the noise created by an internal combustion engine.

Audi’s acoustics experts are working to create a futuristic engine note for the brand’s EV.

On the other hand, the wonder hit Nissan Leaf emits a noise that can be described as a cross between a small jet plane and a monorail.

With the Megacity vehicle moving forward towards production, we expect BMW to reveal more technical details this year.

[Source: Automotive News ]

18 Responses to “BMW considers adding artificial sounds to make Electric Vehicles safer”

  1. plaxico says:

    it gonna be sooo ugly

  2. Hugo Becker says:

    Playing cards clothes-pinned to the spokes of the wheels? ;-)

  3. Sajan says:

    A naturally aspirated I6 noise would be nice :)

  4. FreudeKing says:

    Make it sound like an M6 or don’t bother. How stupid is this idea anyway. You make an electric car to try and decrease consumption and pollution. Now you want to add some noise pollution and have an on going engine sound that consumes energy. Don’t BMW engineers have better things to do??? Like fixing the far from perfect electric steering system that the dumped, making current BMWs steer like a delayed game steering???

  5. Well, I think sounds are necessary because the average pedestrian is rather pre-occupied when walking/crossing the streets while talking on their cell phone or texting at the same time while walking; I’ve seen people literally walk straight into poles. A lot of people still have a chance of waling straight into a moving car with normal “car sounds” let alone a car with no sound; that’s a disaster waiting to happen.

  6. Efoza says:

    I feel sorry for all those who live in mega cities when these electric cars come out. Can you imagine the different noises all combining to give the most horrible road noise imaginable.

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