Audi is currently at work developing a particular sound for its future e-tron electric cars. The automaker sees this not just a matter of safety, but also a question of how its cars of the future should sound.
An electric Audi will not sound like an airplane with jet engines or a space ship from a science fiction film any time soon, though. “But the sound will be new and unusual. The Audi RSQ from the Hollywood film ‘I, Robot’ gives an indication of how an Audi might sound in the future,” says Ralf Kunkel, Head of Acoustics at AUDI AG.
Electric cars are virtually silent at speeds of up to 25 km/h (15.5 mph), which makes them hard to detect by pedestrians. Organizations for the blind worldwide therefore advocate giving quiet cars a unique sound; specifications or laws to this effect are already in place in the U.S.A. and Japan.
Noise from the rolling of the tires and from the slipstream comes to the forefront above this speed, at which point an electric car is no longer significantly more quiet than a conventional car.
Lotus, Toyota and Nissan are also working on artificial noise for electric cars and the new technology will be implemented as a safety feature to make electric cars audible to pedestrians.[wzslider height=”400″ lightbox=”true”]