Audio branding for the city transport
Cities use sound for electric transport to enhance the safety and awareness of pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users. In particular, the use of sound for electric vehicles (EVs) is becoming increasingly important as the number of EVs on the road continues to grow.
One way cities use sound for electric transport is by implementing acoustic vehicle alerting systems (AVAS). An AVAS produces a sound that is similar to that of a conventional internal combustion engine, helping to alert other road users to the presence of an electric vehicle. The sound is typically generated by a speaker or horn system that is integrated into the vehicle.
Another way cities are using sound for electric transport is by enhancing the existing soundscapes of public spaces with dynamic audio cues. This can be done through the use of audio sensors and speakers, which are placed along roads and in public areas. The sensors detect the presence of EVs and activate an appropriate sound, such as a warning tone or an audio signal indicating the speed and direction of the vehicle.
In addition to enhancing safety, the use of sound for electric transport can also have a positive impact on the overall quality of life in cities. By creating more dynamic and responsive soundscapes, cities can make public spaces more vibrant and engaging for all users.
It's worth noting that while the use of sound for electric transport is becoming more widespread, there is still ongoing debate about the most effective and appropriate sounds to use. Some experts argue that EVs should be equipped with a standardized sound, while others believe that each manufacturer should be allowed to develop their own unique sound. Regardless of the approach that is taken, the goal is to create a soundscape that is safe, effective, and aesthetically pleasing for all road users.
Another aspect of the use of sound for electric transport is the creation of "quiet zones" in cities. Quiet zones are areas where the use of sound for electric vehicles is restricted or banned. This can be particularly important in areas where noise levels are already high, such as near residential neighborhoods, schools, hospitals, or parks. In these areas, the sound of an electric vehicle can be especially disruptive, so it's important to regulate the use of sound to minimize the impact on local residents.
Additionally, some cities are exploring the use of augmented reality technology to enhance the soundscapes of their streets. By using smart devices, such as smartphones or wearable devices, road users can receive audio cues about the presence and movement of electric vehicles. This can be especially useful for pedestrians and cyclists, who may not be able to see or hear an electric vehicle approaching from behind.
In conclusion, cities are using sound in various ways to enhance the safety and awareness of electric vehicles. From acoustic vehicle alerting systems to quiet zones and augmented reality, cities are exploring new and innovative ways to create a soundscape that is safe and effective for all road users. This is what the THOR AVAS team is doing when working on creating sound samples and testing all systems on different types of vehicles in different conditions - from real street conditions to analyzing data in a dampened chamber.
One interesting aspect of the use of sound for electric transport is how it can be used to improve the accessibility of public spaces for people with disabilities. For example, people with visual impairments can benefit from sounds that indicate the presence and direction of electric vehicles, making it easier for them to navigate public spaces safely.
In addition to improving safety and accessibility, the use of sound for electric transport can also have environmental benefits. For example, by using sound to alert people to the presence of electric vehicles, cities can reduce the need for other types of warning systems, such as flashing lights or visual cues. This can help to reduce light pollution and the visual clutter of public spaces, creating a more sustainable and aesthetically pleasing environment.
It's also worth mentioning that the use of sound for electric transport is not limited to urban areas. Electric vehicles are also used in rural areas, and sound can play a similar role in these environments. For example, sounds can be used to alert people to the presence of electric vehicles on rural roads, helping to improve safety and awareness for all road users.
Overall, the use of sound for electric transport is an important and evolving field that has the potential to improve the safety, accessibility, and sustainability of public spaces. As more cities adopt electric vehicles, it will be interesting to see how this field continues to evolve and how new and innovative sounds are developed to enhance the experience of electric mobility.