Nissan Introduces ‘Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians’ System for New Leaf EV

1
Nissan Introduces ‘Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians’ System for New Leaf EV

Ahead of any possible legislation requiring electric cars and hybrids to come equipped with noise-makers, Nissan is announcing the introduction of what it calls the ‘Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians’ system for its new Leaf electric vehicle. The system finds a balance between driver comfort and alerting pedestrians of an approaching vehicle. The “sine-way sound system” emits a changing tone from 2.5kHz at the high end to a low of 600Hz and changes based on vehicle speed and whether the car is speeding up or slowing down. There’s an intermittent back-up sound and even a start up sound designed to let those standing near the car know it is preparing to move. (Having tested a few electric cars ourselves, drivers are sure to appreciate the start-up sound that lets them know their car is ready to go).

The sound for this new system comes from a speaker in the engine compartment and can be turned off temporarily by the driver. It does, however, revert to being on every time the vehicle is started up. Nissan has designed it to shut off automatically at speeds beyond 30 km/h (18.6 mph) and come back on at speeds of 25 km/h (15.5 mph)

Nissan is currently showing the system (and the new Leaf EV) to journalists at its Oppama test track in Japan.

Along with the Leaf, Nissan plans to offer the Approaching Sound for Pedestrians system in the upcoming Infiniti M35 Hybrid.

Official release after the jump:

PRESS RELEASE

THE ‘NEW CAR’ EXPERIENCE

– Nissan demonstrates the affordable, 100% electric, zero-emission Nissan LEAF –

– Company also showcases audio-alert system for pedestrians –

YOKOHAMA (June 11, 2010) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (NML) has invited nearly 500 people to experience the world’s first mass-production, 100% electric, zero-emission car – Nissan LEAF – at the company’s Oppama test track in a world-exclusive preview from June 11-19, 2010.

Media, Nissan shareholders, government officials, analysts and some of the first customers to place reservations for Nissan LEAF will get the chance to experience the benefits of this practical, affordable and fun to drive all-electric car when they get behind the wheel of the first production test units.

Nissan LEAF, is a ‘new car’ in every sense of the word and redefines the driving experience, setting new standards in handling, acceleration and comfort in its class. Nissan LEAF officially goes on sale beginning in December.

Since the 100% electric, zero-emission concept vehicle was unveiled last August at the grand opening of the new Nissan Global Headquarters, the company has been continually refining Nissan LEAF for the October start of production.

Among the enhancements to the test units is the “Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians” system, which also will be used in the Nissan Fuga hybrid, slated for sale in fall 2010.

The system makes it easy for those outside to hear the vehicle approaching, but the sounds do not distract the driver and passengers inside. Thus, the needs of pedestrian safety, as well as driver and passenger comfort, are met. The sound system is the first of its type to be introduced by an automaker.

Nissan believes the 100 percent electric Nissan LEAF has the potential to be the transformative beginning of a new approach to personal transportation. No tailpipe emissions from this global vehicle mean no CO2 or other gases released into the atmosphere.

In addition to reducing air pollution, Nissan LEAF and other electric vehicles (EVs) reduce noise pollution, making them transformative in yet another way. Unlike their gasoline-powered cars, EVs and hybrids run quietly. Today’s noisy traffic corridors have the potential to possess an almost serene ambience if populated with cars and trucks that are quieter.

While silence is golden, it does present practical challenges. In response to public concern that quiet EVs and hybrids can surprise pedestrians and the visually impaired as they approach, Nissan has developed a set of distinctive sounds that will come standard with Nissan LEAF to ensure a positive experience for drivers, passengers and pedestrians alike.

In developing the sound system, Nissan studied behavioral research of the visually impaired and worked with cognitive and acoustic psychologists. After looking at applied original technology developed to reduce vehicle noise and conducting tests in Japan and abroad, the Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians system was created.

The sine-wave sound system sweeps from 2.5kHz at the high end to a low of 600Hz, an easily audible range across age groups. Nissan worked to avoid a sound range that would add unnecessary noise to the environment (around 1,000Hz).

Depending on the speed and status (accelerating or decelerating) of Nissan LEAF, the sound system will make sweeping, high-low sounds. For instance, when Nissan LEAF is started, the sound will be louder, so a visually impaired person would be aware that a nearby car was beginning operations. And when a car is in reverse, the system will generate an intermittent sound. The sound system ceases operation when Nissan LEAF tops 30km/h and enters a sound range where regular road noise is high. It engages again as Nissan LEAF slows to under 25km/h.

The system is controlled through a computer and synthesizer in the dash panel, and the sound is delivered through a speaker in the engine compartment. A switch inside the vehicle can turn off sounds temporarily. The system automatically resets to “On” at the next ignition cycle.

Nissan LEAF will be on sale in Japan, the United States, Portugal and the Netherlands starting in December and in the United Kingdom and Ireland starting February 2011. Nissan plans to begin mass marketing Nissan LEAF in 2012.

Production will start in October at the Oppama plant in Japan. The second half of 2012 will see production at the Smyrna, Tenn., plant in the U.S., followed by production in the UK at the Sunderland plant in 2013. Annual Nissan LEAF production for Oppama is 50,000 units. The Lithium-ion battery that powers Nissan LEAF will be produced by Nissan’s joint-venture with NEC, AESC (Automotive Energy Supply Company). Originally planned annual battery production capacity at AESC was 65,000 units including 54,000 units for EV. However, AESC plans to increase annual battery production capacity for EV to 90,000 units by 2011, foreseeing an upward trend in future demand.

Note:     The Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians system conforms to guidelines set by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in its report, “Measures for dealing with the silence of hybrids and similar cars,” released in January.

Related images and sound samples of the Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians can be downloaded from the Nissan News Room (www.nissan-newsroom.com/JPN/en/).

  • Chad

    Nissan needs to think outside of the box…

    “Car Tones. The new thang! The driver can redefine any number of sounds on their car, from the Reverse Movement, to the Engine Start sounds. From the user-selectable Exhaust Tone to the Pedestrian Warning. Only 99 cents each.”

« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.

1. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. AGE/RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked