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Nissan Gives Electric Cars Blade Runner Audio Effect

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the downloadable-cartones-just-$10-each dept.

Transportation 553

mateuscb writes "A campaign backed by automakers and some lawmakers to make electric or hybrid cars noisier in a bid to increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists has taken a strange, Blade Runner-type twist. Nissan sound engineers have announced that the Leaf electric car set for release next year will emit a 'beautiful and futuristic' noise similar to the sound of flying cars — or 'spinners' — that buzz around 2019 Los Angeles in Ridley Scott's dystopian thriller based on a Philip K. Dick science fiction novel."

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But... (5, Interesting)

e4g4 (533831) | about 5 years ago | (#29478489)

...one of the nice things about electric cars is that they're so quiet. Can you turn the sound off?

Re:But... (4, Funny)

mrmeval (662166) | about 5 years ago | (#29478523)

I will change it to a ominous hum.

Re:But... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478673)

Tie Fighter anyone?

Re:But... (5, Insightful)

dotgain (630123) | about 5 years ago | (#29478691)

But at TFS says, it's a 'safety feature', I'd imagine you could 'turn it off' about as easily as the airbags or that thing that beeps when you're in reverse, and that's not without messing with wiring.

Re:But... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478875)

If cars will make extra noise, then I want a tirebell for my bicycle. They are banned in Germany for noise pollution reasons. Bicycles are only allowed a measly 2.4W headlight, while cars use two 55W bulbs.

Re:But... (5, Informative)

paeanblack (191171) | about 5 years ago | (#29478889)

But at TFS says, it's a 'safety feature', I'd imagine you could 'turn it off' about as easily as the airbags or that thing that beeps when you're in reverse, and that's not without messing with wiring.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_flag_laws

These proposals are just as idiotic.

It's the drivers' responsibility to maintain control of their vehicles and be cognizant of sudden dangers in the street. Any attempts delegate this responsibility onto pedestrians, wildlife, and falling trees are completely retarded.

Re:But... (1)

buswolley (591500) | about 5 years ago | (#29478911)

I do not like noise pollution..but... we depend on our ears to hear dangers that we dont see with or eyes. We need some kind of cue that a car parked in a lot, is a possible moving object.

Re:But... (1, Funny)

MouseR (3264) | about 5 years ago | (#29478723)

Next we'll have the kiddie ring tones and the nerdy Phytonesque "Run Away!!! Run Away!!!".

Greatâ¦

Re:But... (2)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | about 5 years ago | (#29478771)

I will change it to a ominous hum.

And some giggling teenager will change it to a loud burping noise.

Re:But... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 5 years ago | (#29478861)

I will change it to a ominous hum.

How about a cheerful hum? Like "Sunshine on My Shoulder?"

Re:But... (5, Funny)

rvw (755107) | about 5 years ago | (#29478527)

...one of the nice things about electric cars is that they're so quiet. Can you turn the sound off?

By then we will not download ringtones anymore, but cartones. Think of the possibilities! Make your Focus sound like a Ferrari, make it swing like Michael Jackson. Living next to the highway will be very entertaining.

Re:But... (4, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | about 5 years ago | (#29478683)

Living next to the highway will be very entertaining.

Someone at RIAA just had a great idea.

Re:But... (5, Funny)

nametaken (610866) | about 5 years ago | (#29478885)

More like an erection.

Re:But... (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 5 years ago | (#29478767)

If my car has to make such a noise; I'll load my car up with Norman Martin's "The Song That Never Ends", and that's what the Pedestrians will get to hear.

This is the song that doesn't end,
Yes, it goes on and on, my friend.
Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was,
and they'll continue singing it forever just
because...

Re:But... (4, Funny)

thermopile (571680) | about 5 years ago | (#29478533)

If it sounds like what I think it's going to sound like, I sure hope you can turn the sound off. This youtube link appears to be what the Spinners sound like [youtube.com] . Ick; it's cheesy electro-techno.

I mean, seriously, a "whooshing" sound would be more credible. A soundtrack is too garish.

Re:But... (-1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 5 years ago | (#29478655)

That's obviously a soundtrack added to the video. The car won't make music!

Re:But... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 years ago | (#29478785)

Ummm, that's the soundtrack to Bladerunner.

Re:But... (4, Informative)

prof187 (235849) | about 5 years ago | (#29478567)

According to the article, the sound is supposed to turn off after the car reaches 12 mph because at that point they say the tire noise is enough to let you be able to hear it adequately.

Re:But... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478923)

Can't they just make it illegal to operate an electric car between 1 mph and 12 mph?

Re:But... (1, Insightful)

scottrocket (1065416) | about 5 years ago | (#29478641)

... or only have it come on, when a sensor(s) actually detect a human/animal nearby (visually, thermally etc.).

Re:But... (2, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | about 5 years ago | (#29478675)

Your comment ridicules itself.

Re:But... (0, Flamebait)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 5 years ago | (#29478845)

... or only have it come on, when a sensor(s) actually detect a human/animal nearby (visually, thermally etc.).

So you're taking a proposed new feature that'd cost maybe 10 or 20 bucks to incorporate into the car, and bumping it up so it'll add a few thousand to the cost of the vehicle? Brilliant!

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478727)

The real problem is:

Does it run Linux?

It's Not About Safety, It's About Macho (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | about 5 years ago | (#29478735)

We're Americans, dammit. Electric Cars, making no noise, are dainty and prissy. Carbonalicious Cars that go Vrooom-Vroooom, these are the cars that Real Men drive.

I'm saying it in a snarky way (it's my curse), but you know that is what the auto-marketers are thinking. Safety? Oh, please...!

Re:It's Not About Safety, It's About Macho (5, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 years ago | (#29478795)

I want mine to make the sound of a Bell HU-1 ...with optional Wagner overlay.

Re:It's Not About Safety, It's About Macho (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 5 years ago | (#29478863)

We're Americans, dammit. Electric Cars, making no noise, are dainty and prissy. Carbonalicious Cars that go Vrooom-Vroooom, these are the cars that Real Men drive.

I'm saying it in a snarky way (it's my curse), but you know that is what the auto-marketers are thinking. Safety? Oh, please...!

No, in all seriousness there have been complaints from pedestrians about how quiet cars like the Prius are. My friend owns a Prius, and if it's moving at a fairly low speed you won't hear it at all.

I always assumed there'd be other sources of noise, e.g. the tires - but that thing can be eerily quiet.

Re:It's Not About Safety, It's About Macho (1)

SBrach (1073190) | about 5 years ago | (#29478917)

Are the complaints from 4 year olds?? That is about the age most people are able to comprehend looking both ways before crossing street.

Just what we need - more noise. (2, Insightful)

Jonathan A (1584455) | about 5 years ago | (#29478779)

But one of the nice things about electric cars is that they're so quiet. Can you turn the sound off?

If it can't be turned off, then I, for one, won't be buying one. Modern life is noisy enough as it is.

Re:But... (1)

Yokaze (70883) | about 5 years ago | (#29478839)

> ...one of the nice things about electric cars is that they're so quiet.

It depends on the point of view and amount of noise.

> Can you turn the sound off?

Maybe not. In Japan, a law has been discussed, which would require cars to make some sound, as there were some accidents involving hybrid cars, which were too silent.
Streets in resedential areas in Japan can be quite narrow with buildings close to both sides. So cars are driving relatively slow and you
can't look very far around the corners of a crossing. You will usually hear a car before you see it. Also for visually impaired people,
it may be the sole mean of avoiding cars.

That is the motivation behind this development. The car maker isn't doing it just for fun.

Re:But... (1)

Macrat (638047) | about 5 years ago | (#29478943)

Also for visually impaired people, it may be the sole mean of avoiding cars.

And for the deaf people?

Re:But... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478851)

I'd heard about these before, though not necessarily Nissan but this idea, and it's supposed to be forward-directed noise that's barely audible, if at all, in the cabin.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478891)

...one of the nice things about electric cars is that they're so quiet. Can you turn the sound off?

Most cyclists and pedestrians would prefer that the sound be forced to stay on.
It's nice to have some warning when a tonne of steel is rolling towards you at 50kph.

Re:But... (1)

Deanalator (806515) | about 5 years ago | (#29478935)

Furthermore I'm sure they are going to start requiring bicyclists to clip baseball cards to their back wheels.

Re:But... (1)

johnshirley (709044) | about 5 years ago | (#29478949)

If you can't turn it off, I'm sure a pair of wire cutters will solve the problem: high-tech annoyance, meet low-tech solution.

Do electric sheep (1)

rvw (755107) | about 5 years ago | (#29478497)

Do electric sheep make noise as well in 2019?

Re:Do electric sheep (1)

Reeses (5069) | about 5 years ago | (#29478509)

Only in your dreams.

Re:Do electric sheep (5, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 5 years ago | (#29478553)

Only in your dreams.

But are they really your dreams?

Re:Do electric sheep (4, Funny)

ciaohound (118419) | about 5 years ago | (#29478639)

Get your ass to Mars.

they make that electric noise and if it's a sony r (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 5 years ago | (#29478721)

they make that electric noise and if it's a sony run a way before the battery blows up.

Re:Do electric sheep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478775)

Do electric sheep dream of androids?

Siren Noise (5, Funny)

Karganeth (1017580) | about 5 years ago | (#29478499)

They should make some kind of noise that sounds significantly different when its coming towards you compared with going away from you, just like how an ambulance or police siren is.

Re:Siren Noise (3, Informative)

bheekling (976077) | about 5 years ago | (#29478565)

The Doppler Effect [wikipedia.org] should take care of that for you. No matter what kind of sound is made, it's affected by the Doppler Effect.

Re:Siren Noise (2, Funny)

Ecuador (740021) | about 5 years ago | (#29478715)

You are not replying to a youtube post, it was just a joke ;)

Re:Siren Noise (1)

dotgain (630123) | about 5 years ago | (#29478717)

You forgot to take his geek card. Kids know this stuff.

Re:Siren Noise (5, Funny)

Boiling_point_ (443831) | about 5 years ago | (#29478831)

Wheeeee-Oshhhhhhhhh!

Re:Siren Noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478979)

The Doppler Effect should take care of that for you. No matter what kind of sound is made, it's affected by the Doppler Effect.

That's not enough. A constant tone is just pitch-shifted. Without any kind of reference it is very difficult to determine if the pitch is increasing, decreasing or staying the same. The "mom-ee" siren provides two alternating tones ABABABA so when it goes from A to B to A' it is easier for the human psychoacoustic system to tell if the pitch is going up or down and if the volume is going up or down.

Re:Siren Noise (2, Funny)

thewils (463314) | about 5 years ago | (#29478581)

You cannot be serious about that remark!

Re:Siren Noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478679)

science fail!

Re:Siren Noise (1)

sebaseba (1617571) | about 5 years ago | (#29478701)

Sarcasm tags missing I hope.

Re:Siren Noise (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 5 years ago | (#29478789)

They should use directional speakers. When you are going forward it only gets played in the forward direction.

When your vehicle is in reverse, it only gets played in the backward direction.

Won't people just tune it out? (1)

Jyms (598745) | about 5 years ago | (#29478513)

I assume road noise is not enough. People are very good at tuning out noise. I hardly hear the truck reversing sound any more. Same with car alarms. Wonder how they will get around that.

Re:Won't people just tune it out? (1)

rvw (755107) | about 5 years ago | (#29478541)

I assume road noise is not enough. People are very good at tuning out noise. I hardly hear the truck reversing sound any more. Same with car alarms. Wonder how they will get around that.

Car alarms make me always wanna smash the windows. Then at least they have a reason to annoy me.

Re:Won't people just tune it out? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 5 years ago | (#29478671)

It's not really for people who can see and hear. It's more for blind people who are always going to be more aware of the sounds around them.

Re:Won't people just tune it out? (1)

The_Duck271 (1494641) | about 5 years ago | (#29478707)

Do you tune out the whir of a car coming towards you while you're crossing the street? That's what this is about.

Modified Quote (1)

MLCT (1148749) | about 5 years ago | (#29478539)

It's too bad they won't live. But then again, what does.

Ffffffsssss (4, Funny)

thewils (463314) | about 5 years ago | (#29478561)

I would want that sound that the USS Enterprise makes as it whizzes through space...

Re:Ffffffsssss (2, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 5 years ago | (#29478873)

I would want that sound that the USS Enterprise makes as it whizzes through space. (emphasis mine)

Technically... It already does and that appears to be the "problem". :-)

This issue is ridiculous and assumes that the blind and inattentive notice any sound all the time. My Civic is super quite at slow speeds. Should it also be *required* to be louder?

Potential confusion (1)

ciaohound (118419) | about 5 years ago | (#29478893)

That's almost indistinguishable from the sound that the doors make when they open.

Re:Ffffffsssss (2, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | about 5 years ago | (#29478931)

Throw in the sound of the TARDIS from Doctor Who and I'll finally have a reason to get a driver's license.

The Jetsons! (4, Funny)

ZackSchil (560462) | about 5 years ago | (#29478571)

I want my car to sound like the flying cars from The Jetsons [getdropbox.com] . Then I can at least pretend that I got the future I was promised as a child.

Re:The Jetsons! (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | about 5 years ago | (#29478731)

Sure. Just stick it on an Aptera [google.ca] and you're half-way there. Just missing the flying bit.

Re:The Jetsons! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478859)

I want mine to sound like the Delorean from Back to the Future!

Mazda announces their EV warning sound... (4, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 5 years ago | (#29478573)

In response, Mazda has announced that their cars will play an endless loop of a 6 year old saying "zoom-zoom!"

Car Ring Tones!!! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478585)

From the article ~ "Some reports suggest that in the future, car owners will download a sound for their car the way many consumers buy ring tones for their cellphones."

Oh crap, now we have to listen to cars playing crappy tunes on bad speakers all the time. Can't their be a law against this proposed. I think a few dead pedestrians is worth the loss of the noise pollution.

For the more whimsical (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 5 years ago | (#29478587)

I suggest something more like the Jetsons' car.

A new revenue opportunity. (2, Funny)

jafo (11982) | about 5 years ago | (#29478591)

Yay! Pretty soon we'll be able to buy ringtones for our cars! Now kids won't have to go deaf turning their music up loud enough that everyone around can hear it. The Hip-hop ring tones will play on an outside speaker! Hooray.

Sean

Re:A new revenue opportunity. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478633)

I can't wait to get my own, so my car can emit the Brown Note [wikipedia.org]

ringtone (2, Funny)

nexar-andy (246769) | about 5 years ago | (#29478605)

Great...
What's next? A ringtone for your car?

THE sound (1)

Earthquake Retrofit (1372207) | about 5 years ago | (#29478623)

My roommate can reproduce the sound George Jetson's little car makes. But he hasn't put it on You Tube.

Steve

Wow (0, Redundant)

MadUndergrad (950779) | about 5 years ago | (#29478629)

So they killed the electric car. Or rather, they will, if they're as dumb as they seem.

Interesting job title (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | about 5 years ago | (#29478657)

Nissan sound engineers have announced

What exactly would these people do on a daily basis?

Re:Interesting job title (4, Interesting)

Zak3056 (69287) | about 5 years ago | (#29478741)

What exactly would these people do on a daily basis?

I would imagine they're normally responsible for minimizing road noise, engine noise heard inside the cabin, making the stereo sound good in the aurally hostile environment that is an automobile, etc.

Re:Interesting job title (1)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | about 5 years ago | (#29478743)

I'm no expert, but I would assume they would usually be the ones sound-proofing/improving the acoustics of the interior, dampening engine noises, etc. In this case, though, they want the car to make more noise, not less.

Re:Interesting job title (1)

The_Duck271 (1494641) | about 5 years ago | (#29478745)

Engineer sounds, duh.

Re:Interesting job title (1)

dotgain (630123) | about 5 years ago | (#29478763)

You obviously don't drive a Nissan. Even when the airbags go off, it sounds like a beautiful fanfare.

Re:Interesting job title (5, Funny)

miggyb (1537903) | about 5 years ago | (#29478869)

Now I want the Windows 95 TADA noise [youtube.com] when my airbags are deployed. I love for my cars to have a sense of sarcasm.

Woooooo WOOOOOOOO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478665)

And the spinners go WOOOOOO WOOOOOOOO
http://youtube.com/watch?v=YK18wQA-tHs

Rewire it (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 5 years ago | (#29478677)

Tap into your stereo, problem of silly noises solved.

Strange world (2, Interesting)

oldhack (1037484) | about 5 years ago | (#29478681)

Funny world we live in. Car noise became so ubiquitous, we "need" them.

Re:Strange world (1)

Jurily (900488) | about 5 years ago | (#29478853)

Funny world we live in. Car noise became so ubiquitous, we "need" them.

I don't like cars sneaking up on me when I'm on foot. Do you?

Re:Strange world (4, Insightful)

Macrat (638047) | about 5 years ago | (#29478959)

I don't like cars sneaking up on me when I'm on foot. Do you?

Then stop walking in the middle of the road.

Example of the sound (4, Informative)

sebaseba (1617571) | about 5 years ago | (#29478693)

An example of the sound is apparently this one [youtube.com] . Not sure tho', found on an another site.

As for me personally, (1)

pokechop (1437139) | about 5 years ago | (#29478697)

...I like the cars, the cars that go BOOM!!

Deaf people cope (2, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | about 5 years ago | (#29478705)

They actually bother to look, unlike many pedestrians who listen for traffic. Cyclists have to brake sharp or take evasive action to avoid these clowns.

Re:Deaf people cope (5, Insightful)

Imrik (148191) | about 5 years ago | (#29478765)

Blind people don't have the option of looking.

Re:Deaf people cope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478813)

They're just not trying hard enough. (-1, Horrible)

Re:Deaf people cope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478933)

So why don't they just walk at night?

Ringtone cars (5, Funny)

nnnneedles (216864) | about 5 years ago | (#29478755)

Please not ringtone cars. Please please please. It's ten years into the future and I can't stand it already.

Re:Ringtone cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478799)

Why not? It's the perfect court excuse: "I had to blow him up, your honor. His car was playing 'Rock Me Gently' 24 hours a day"

The answer is obvious (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 years ago | (#29478817)

Just make massive subwoofers and reggaeton mandatory, problem solved.

They don't need a noise ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478833)

they need a smell, to reflect their new potential. The smell should be 'silent but deadly'

Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478835)

If we didn't expect cars to make noise in the first place then this wouldn't be necessary. Besides, all the electric vehicles I've ever seen make noise anyway - sometimes enough to be annoying.

You're slipping, Slashdot (-1, Troll)

petrus4 (213815) | about 5 years ago | (#29478867)

I would have expected a veritable legion of Anonymous Cowards suggesting wave files of fart noises, looped at ultra high volume, by this point.

I guess the ex-WoW demographic moving to this site really has killed it, hasn't it? ;)

Re:You're slipping, Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478941)

I would have expected a veritable legion of Anonymous Cowards suggesting wave files of fart noises, looped at ultra high volume, by this point.

It would be drowned out by the hip hop, or whatever is playing on those absurdly large subwoofers.

You mean like... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478915)

'ringtones' for cars ? Oh, the horror...

Haven't we been through this? (1)

mi (197448) | about 5 years ago | (#29478939)

When the cars, or, rather, horseless carriages were first introduced, didn't some locales require them to be preceded by a person carrying a bell — to warn the public of the monstrosity's approach?

Loud Pipes Save Lives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29478967)

Why don't the pedestrians just carry boom boxes?

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