Electric Vehicle Safety and the Importance of Acoustic Ecology

In response to growing concerns about the environment, governments and automakers all over the world are beginning to investigate the viability of electric vehicles as a sustainable transportation option. Everyone agrees that these have the potential to make significant improvements to air quality and dramatically cut down on noise pollution. And when we say dramatically, we mean it!

Acoustic Ecology

Nations worldwide have started modernizing their legal frameworks and adopting AVAS systems to reduce the number of accidents caused by the low levels of electric vehicle sounds. Most AVAS systems currently flooding the market make harsh squeaking or beeping noises for warning pedestrians. This contradicts current concepts of acoustic ecology of future cities and standards for pedestrian safety systems. In consideration of the UN 138 Regulation, the acoustic ecologies of modern towns and cities, and the diverse environments from busy city centers to peaceful residential neighborhoods, expressways, and winding country lanes, THOR AVAS came up with different solutions that are composed and crafted to create beautiful and acoustically acceptable AVAS soundtracks for EVs.

Our system is based on software that consists of several complex components, such as a sound engine, porting library, AVAS sound profiles, and an API protocol for interacting with software. Such a dynamic sound engine is highly responsive to changes in volume, speed, vehicle characteristics, and accelerator/brake pedal placement and functions in tandem with the geolocation information transmitted by the telematics unit. The electronic connection module also has onboard memory for software and a Bluetooth interface for remote management via an app for iOS and Android devices. Both the onboard power supply and the data bus (CAN, UART, RS285, or RS482) are connected to the electronic module. Additionally, it is also possible to connect it through a telematics device or the regular power button.

The sound library is our crowning achievement which features the most extensive collection of high-quality sounds, all captured from actual vehicles using patented recording techniques. The library is constantly being expanded with new AVAS soundtracks, some of which are safety-related, while others are more for entertainment, like the instantly recognizable ice cream truck sound or the "jingle bells" tune.

The AVAS sounds were designed to achieve AVAS's objectives by catering to the firm's specific needs. The purpose of their creation was not to add to the city's already overwhelming level of noise. In addition to being tried out in specially designed soundproof chambers, our soundscapes are also put through an AVAS test outdoors. They were found to be effective at minimum volumes and on those frequencies naturally present in the urban landscape.

With more than five years of experience developing acoustic vehicle alerting systems for electric vehicles that have been put through extensive AVAS tests in an anechoic chamber, engineers at THOR spend a great deal of time modifying and syncing sounds from a variety of noise environments, dissecting them into notes, and ultimately creating a musical AVAS soundtrack for the electric vehicles of the future.

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