Cars to roll out sound effects
SCIENCE fiction movie sound effects could make near-silent electric cars safer.
Audi ‘‘acousticians’’ experimenting with artificial engine noises for their e-tron electric cars coming from 2012 have suggested using the sound from the Audi RSQ in the 2004 Will Smith science fiction movie, I Robot.
Electric cars are so quiet at slow speeds they pose a risk to blind people and pedestrians.
The US government has already introduced the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act which stipulates a noise level to alert blind and other pedestrians. Japan is following suit.
Nissan has produced a whirring sound for its coming Leaf electric car, but Audi wants something more ‘‘sporty’’.
Audi brand development boss Christian Schadiuller said the obvious approach would be to work on the familiar sound of a combustion engine.
‘‘On the other hand, we want to underscore that an electric or hybrid Audi is an innovative product,’’ he said. ‘‘We also want to make our Vorsprung durch Technik audible in the era of electric mobility.’’
Audi acoustics boss Ralf Kunkel suggests science fiction sound effects.
‘‘The sounds used for space ships in films are reminiscent of car sounds, yet are also very different, making this a rather interesting approach,’’ he said.
‘‘The sound will be new and unusual. The Audi RSQ from the 2004 Hollywood film I, Robot, starring Will Smith, gives an indication of how an Audi might sound in the future.’’