Jaguar has developed an Audible Vehicle Alert System for the I-Pace electric SUV to ensure safety in towns and cities for visually impaired pedestrians.
You might have hoped that the arrival of electric vehicles would make our towns and cities a much quieter place; no more revving cars, noisy lorries and clattering taxis to pollute our ears. But it’s not going to happen.
In fact, impending global legislation is going to make sure electric cars make enough noise at low speeds – up to 20mph – to ensure not just visually impaired pedestrians can hear them coming, but all pedestrians can, as we all rely as much on sound as sight to judge what’s around.
Jaguar has developed an Audible Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) for the new I-Pace which makes varying noise at speeds of up to 20mph – at above 56dB – which has been tested by members of the Guide Dogs for the Blind to make sure it works for their needs.
They started off with ‘Star Trek’ noises, but soon realised they made people look up, not in the direction of the sound, but now they’ve settled for some sort of droning noise, a noise which changes with speed and direction at up to 20mph, and can’t be turned off, although, say Jaguar, it can’t be heard in the I-Pace’s cabin.
John Welshman from Guide Dogs for the Blind said:
Guide Dogs campaigned hard to make it compulsory for quiet vehicles to have sound generating systems built in and turned on, including when the vehicle is stationary at a pedestrian crossing. We applaud Jaguar for being the first to launch an EV which meets standards before the new legislation even comes in and look forward to working with the company more in the future.
So get used to droning EVs as you walk around towns and cities before too long as the fitting of AVAS becomes compulsory in 2019. It also means you’ll no longer be able to sneak home in the early hours in silence to avoid an ear-bashing.
We’d have preferred the noise of jangling milk bottles to signal the arrival of an EV.