The si­lent EV Jaguar I-PACE will soon purr at pedes­tri­ans as it ap­proaches

The Hindu Business Line - - NEWS -

With no engine sound, the elec­tric Jaguar I-PACE re­quired a new way to warn pedes­tri­ans, es­pe­cially the vis­ually im­paired and other vul­ner­a­ble road users, it was ap­proach­ing at low speed.

Jaguar has de­signed a unique Au­di­ble Ve­hi­cle Alert Sys­tem (AVAS) for its first EV that meets and ex­ceeds all forth­com­ing global leg­is­la­tion. Its en­gi­neers have de­vel­oped a sound that can be heard at a speed of up to 20 km/h and ex­ceeds the 56dB (A) min­i­mum re­quired by forth­com­ing Euro­pean leg­is­la­tion — the strictest in the world — for all new EVs from July 2019.

The I-PACE’s sound was tested by mem­bers of Guide Dogs for the Blind, the UK’s The Jaguar I-PACE

lead­ing char­ity for peo­ple af­fected by sight loss, as part of the test­ing un­der­taken by Jaguar. It also marks the start of an on­go­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Iain Suffield, Jaguar NVH Tech­ni­cal Spe­cial­ist, said: “The ab­sence of tra­di­tional engine noise from elec­tric ve­hi­cles cre­ates a prob­lem for vul­ner­a­ble pedes­tri­ans, such as the vis­ually im­paired. This is es­pe­cially true at low speeds in town cen­tres and car parks. We de­vel­oped the Au­di­ble Ve­hi­cle Alert Sys­tem for the I-PACE to en­sure the safety of all road users. Our po­ten­tially life-sav­ing tech­nol­ogy can­not be switched off .” Jaguar’s en­gi­neers worked for four years to de­velop a sound­track that is au­di­ble yet dis­creet and can­not be heard from in­side the ve­hi­cle.

Ini­tial at­tempts to cre­ate a noise in­spired by the sound of sci-fi space­craft had to be shelved af­ter pedes­tri­ans re­acted by look­ing up to the sky, rather than at the road, as the ve­hi­cle ap­proached.

With the new sys­tem, the alert in­creases in pitch and vol­ume in line with the speed of the ve­hi­cle and, when in re­verse, is ac­com­pa­nied by an ad­di­tional tone that in­di­cates the change in di­rec­tion. AVAS is not re­quired at higher speeds as there is suf­fi­cient wind and tyre noise for pedes­tri­ans to hear the zero-emis­sions ve­hi­cle ap­proach­ing.

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