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      01-05-2011, 05:34 PM   #1
Jason
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BMW Considering Artificial Sounds For Electric Vehicle

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BMW Considering Artificial Sounds For Electric Vehicle
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Update: It looks like BMW won't have a choice but to add artificial sounds to its upcoming full electric vehicles as President Barack Obama signed into law this past Tuesday a bill that will require automakers to add sounds to quiet cars that would help alert the blind and other pedestrians. Last month, Congress voted to require federal safety regulators to set minimum sound levels from electric and gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles.

The new law requires the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to establish "performance requirements for an alert sound that allows blind and other pedestrians to reasonably detect a nearby electric or hybrid vehicle operating" at low speeds. Automakers in May agreed to voluntarily add chirps or other sounds under a deal announced to warn pedestrians of "quiet cars." Under the law, drivers won't have to activate sounds; vehicles will do it automatically. The sounds must allow a blind pedestrian "to reasonably detect a nearby electric or hybrid vehicle."

Per Autonews:

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BMW AG 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 spokesman 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,” he said in an e-mail reply to questions. “We are also cooperating with organizations for the visibly impaired in Germany."

BMW's Mini E EV prototype is undergoing field trials in Europe, China and the United States. The luxury automaker will begin trials of its ActiveE EV prototype, based on its 1-series coupe, in 2011.

BMW will launch its first EV production model in 2013.

Mercedes parent Daimler AG wants on-board components and modules in its alternative-powertrain cars tuned so that they 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.

Nissan' Motor Co.'s Leaf EV compact hatchback emits a noise that can be described as a cross between a small jet plane and a monorail. The sound was developed with input from the U.S.-based National Federation for the Blind and the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology, which Nissan said helped configure the final specifications.

The M35h gasoline-electric hybrid from Nissan luxury brand Infiniti has a system that links an in-car sound synthesizer with a speaker built into the front bumper. The system works from start-up – when the sound is the loudest – to 30kph (about 19 mph) by emitting a range of high and low sounds at different volume levels.

Above roughly 25kph, road, wind and tire noises are louder than engine noises.

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      01-06-2011, 09:40 AM   #2
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This is an important development. Good sound is more than just for safety. No matter how good the performance, no one wants to feel like they're floating around in a toy golf cart.

I wonder if the result will be a reproduction of a traditional combustion engine or a more futuristic spacey sound.
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      01-06-2011, 09:48 AM   #3
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Fudge!!!! how annoying is the future gonna be with little electric cars making high pitched noises from speakers. At least come up with a mechanical sound like coming from the drive train or something.
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      01-06-2011, 10:14 AM   #4
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Can't wait until someone modifies the car to play Ludacris blaring over the speakers "Move b*tch! Get out the way, get out the way, b*tch get out the way!"
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      01-06-2011, 10:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James T. Kirk View Post
I wonder if the result will be a reproduction of a traditional combustion engine or a more futuristic spacey sound.
Probably more of an "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE". Whatever it is, I don't think it's going to be pleasant.
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      01-06-2011, 10:39 AM   #6
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Are they going to add this to bicycles as well? Seriously... look both ways before crossing the street. No sound on a hybrid or electric vehicle would simply help to thin the herd. Darwin at his best.
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      01-06-2011, 11:11 AM   #7
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Why is this the first thing that comes to my mind?

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      01-06-2011, 11:12 AM   #8
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BMW is cooperating with Apple, so guess we can just download a sound-app. V8 from a Dodge Challenger from the 70-ties would be my choise :-)
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      01-06-2011, 11:46 AM   #9
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One step closer to The Jetsons!

Seriously, I'm all for safety and can foresee the potential problem when more and more cars are electric and silent. It's just kinda funny and perhaps a little ironic that after all the modified exhaust and maximum sound level laws, there's now going to be a minimum sound level. Just can't win

Wonder how they will try to suppress the noise on the inside...
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      01-06-2011, 11:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anup@Project 808 View Post
Can't wait until someone modifies the car to play Ludacris blaring over the speakers "Move b*tch! Get out the way, get out the way, b*tch get out the way!"
lmao
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      01-06-2011, 12:13 PM   #11
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Lotus is already on the case:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1CzoqEyACQ

We've already had to do this at work for company golf carts, but nothing this elaborate.
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      01-06-2011, 12:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James T. Kirk View Post
I wonder if the result will be a reproduction of a traditional combustion engine or a more futuristic spacey sound.
The answer is obvious.

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      01-06-2011, 12:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWI6 View Post
Fudge!!!! how annoying is the future gonna be with little electric cars making high pitched noises from speakers. At least come up with a mechanical sound like coming from the drive train or something.
1+



This is not new technology. The Z4 3.0 (first generation) has a sub woofer to increase sound in the cockpit.


Cars are becoming so non-driver oriented.... damn...:

- Automatic Gear Box
- Steering assist
- Parking sensors
- Parking assistance
- Front Radar
- Cameras
- Sleep / Tired sensors
- Changing lines alerts
- Brake assistance
- Automatic Lights
- Automatic wipers
- ABS
- DTC and all the variants.....
etc,
etc
etc...

I know many are convenience and other security. But sometimes I miss the real driving experience of my 1996 Z3 with just a simple ABS
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      01-06-2011, 04:16 PM   #14
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Sounds

Everything should sound like M3
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      01-06-2011, 04:22 PM   #15
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I'll download the F1 sound....
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      01-06-2011, 04:47 PM   #16
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Well they beep like the back up alert on trucks? Lol LMAO but really do need it for the blind pedestrians.
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      01-06-2011, 08:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Touring View Post
BMW is cooperating with Apple, so guess we can just download a sound-app. V8 from a Dodge Challenger from the 70-ties would be my choise :-)
Lol I'll just download a Ferrari sound or maybe an ice cream truck sound lol have all the kids chase me down the street.
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      01-06-2011, 11:13 PM   #18
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I think they just passed some law in the US mandating minimum sound levels for electric/hybrid vehicles. I want one where the sound can be picked like a ring tone. How about: big block V8, Harley Hog, 18 wheeler, Indy car, M1 Tank....you name it and change at the push of a button.
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      01-08-2011, 10:24 AM   #19
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Large scale electric RC aircraft have been using sound simulation systems for a few years now. Why not cars.

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