The Traffic Sounds of the Future

Electric cars are eerily silent. Hybrid cars will give you a start when they go from gas to electric or vice-versa, because we are used to the sounds go a gas engine. We've read about how car manufacturers are adding artificial sound to make electric cars sound real, but that will become even more important in the future when there are self-driving cars on the streets.  

As a pedestrian, it’s been pretty great being able to hear if a car’s coming. But with the rise of electric vehicles, pedestrian accidents have increased. These problems will only get exacerbated once self-driving cars go mainstream. The computers behind the wheel will need a way of alerting others to their surroundings — Google’s autonomous car team has already said their cars will “honk patiently,” but there’s no denying the fact that computers will have to make up for even more of the noises missing from traditional cars.

With a series of regulations set to come into force, car manufacturers are getting ready: the next generation of cars are going to need to make noise, and somebody has to come up with them.

Read about the need for those regulations and the technology that is being developed for car sounds in the age of self-driving vehicles at Inverse. -via Digg

(Image credit: Thomas Wolf)

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I have a Fiat 500e. It really annoying if people are walking right in the middle of the parking lot. You can't rev the engine to let them know I'm there and honking seems rude so I just follow slowly and hope they see me. People have terrible peripheral vision.
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