Adding sound to electric cars ‘will make them safer for pedestrians’

Electric vehicles will be increasingly common on our roads (Image: Getty)

Adding sound to electric cars will make them safer for pedestrians, according to a new study.

While reducing sound pollutionElectric vehicles are so quiet that they are known to cause safety concerns, especially for the visually impaired and blind.

To solve this problem, artificial sounds are being added to electric cars.

In the United States, regulations require vehicle sound to be detected at certain distances at a variety of speeds, with faster speeds corresponding to greater detection distances.

Michael Roan, from Penn State University, and Luke Neurauter from the Virginia Institute of Transportation Technology worked with a team of researchers, and they tested electric vehicle sound detection levels against these claims.

Study participants were seated near one lane of the Institute’s Smart Roads Project, and they were instructed to press a button when they heard an approaching electric vehicle.

This allowed the researchers to measure the probability of detection relative to the distance from the vehicle, which is a new criterion for assessing safety.

Electric cars are so quiet they’re known to cause safety concerns (Getty Images)

Dr Roan said: ‘All cases had an average detection range that exceeded the minimum detection distance of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

‘However, there are cases where the detection probability, even at close range, never reaches 100%.

‘While the additive sound significantly improves detection distance in the absence of sound, there are instances where pedestrians still miss detection.’

According to fans, even after adding sound, electric cars are often quieter than the standard internal combustion engines found in other cars.

In urban environments, they will produce less sound pollution.

Dr Roan explained that further studies are needed to investigate the detection of when all vehicles at an intersection are electric.

Additional sounds can create complex noise resulting in some locations being noisy and others with very little sound.

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Huynh Nguyen

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