WATCH OUT! THERE’S AN EV COM­ING

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - PRODUCT WATCH -

THERE IS NO DOUBT elec­tric ve­hi­cles cut down the an­noy­ing hum of traf­fic, which is a good thing. The down­side is, if we can’t hear a car com­ing, we are in a vul­ner­a­ble po­si­tion.

Jaguar has de­signed a unique Au­di­ble Ve­hi­cle Alert Sys­tem (AVAS) for its first EV that meets and ex­ceeds all forth­com­ing global leg­is­la­tion. The car­maker’s en­gi­neers have de­vel­oped a sound that can be heard at speeds up to 20km/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 lead­ing char­ity for peo­ple af­fected by sight loss, as part of the test­ing un­der­taken by Jaguar.

It took the en­gi­neers 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.

En­gi­neers tested sounds in a num­ber of en­vi­ron­ments, in­clud­ing an ane­choic cham­ber (spe­cial­ist echo-free room) and var­i­ous ur­ban sce­nar­ios, be­fore set­tling on the fi­nal sound for the I-PACE. It is emit­ted from a speaker lo­cated be­hind the front grille, can be heard in ev­ery di­rec­tion and can­not be dis­en­gaged.

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.

John Wels­man, Pol­icy Busi­ness Part­ner ( Travel & Mo­bil­ity), Guide Dogs for the Blind, said the or­gan­i­sa­tion had 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. Jaguar un­veiled the I-PACE, its first all- elec­tric ve­hi­cle, ear­lier this year to de­liver sus­tain­able sports car per­for­mance, next-gen­er­a­tion ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) tech­nol­ogy and five-seat SUV prac­ti­cal­ity.

Fit­ted with a state- of-the-art 90kWh lithi­u­mion bat­tery, two Jaguar- de­signed mo­tors and a be­spoke alu­minium struc­ture, the I-PACE is ca­pa­ble of 0- 62mph in 4.5 sec­onds and a range of up to 292 miles.

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