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Audi Gives Silent Electric Car Synthetic Sound

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the millions-to-be-made-in-downloadable-cartones dept.

Transportation 402

itwbennett writes "Audi's electric cars are quiet, maybe too quiet, which is why Audi spent 3 years creating replicated engine noise for its electric car models. We're so conditioned to the noise of an engine revving that a driver behind the wheel of a too-quiet car may not realize how fast he's driving, and a pedestrian relying on auditory clues may be unaware of an approaching vehicle, says Ralf Kunkel, Head of Audi Acoustics." Nissan's been on this for years (as has Honda); one day, you may only get to choose which noise your car makes, rather than whether it does.

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How cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39664741)

That sounds like every SF car ever. I love it.

Re:How cool. (5, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664799)

Nyan Cat.

Nothing else says "get out of my way' like that would.

Re:How cool. (5, Insightful)

PessimysticRaven (1864010) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664919)

I see a huge modding community on the horizon...
It's all fun and game until

Re:How cool. (5, Funny)

PessimysticRaven (1864010) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664929)

...Rickrolling while revving at a redlight occurs.

Re:How cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39665063)

Great idea., I'll rick-roll the office elevator. That will cheer people up on Friday the 13th.

Re:How cool. (4, Informative)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665215)

More stupid laws [stupidlaws.com] brought to you by the buggy whip manufacturer's cartel.

Really, this is just stupid shit all over again.

Re:How cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39665131)

My first thought, too.

Re:How cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39664937)

Doppler effect of Nyan Cat car would be funny

Re:How cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39665223)

a true nylan car would be one that farts out rainbows out of the exhaust pipe!

Re:How cool. (4, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664941)

Jetson's car.

FTW.

Re:How cool. (3, Funny)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665297)

Yeah, George Jetson's car would be the best, but second best would be the buzz-saw noise that the old Flash Gordon spaceships made.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUbGkSfaKrs [youtube.com]

Hardly anyone would recognize it, but it that might make it even better!

Re:How cool. (2)

Sperbels (1008585) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665225)

You mean a blaring voice that says: Danger! Danger! Vehicle Approaching! Stand Aside Citizen!

Re:How cool. (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665285)

Counter-productive. If watching 'Weeds' taught me anything it's that semi-silent hybrids help with drive-bys. There has to be a market for that.

Re:How cool. (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665485)

At one time there were laws insisting that anyone driving a "new-fangled horseless carriage" must:

- have someone walk ahead of them waving a red flag or lantern.
- shouting to warn others of the approaching vehicle
- honking a horn or otherwise making noise to "warn" oncoming traffic at any intersection.

The horse and buggy whip cartels also insisted that the automobile would "spook horses" and cause all sorts of problems. As it turned out, of course, the horses didn't give a rat's ass about the cars, they were more likely to spook because some idiot hitched up a mare in heat and some other idiot had an un-gelded stallion on the rein, or because some asshole shot off a gun near them.

The nonsense about electric cars is no different. It's just attempts by the lobbying department of interested automobile makers (the ones who aren't adapting to the 21st century) using bribed republicans and regulatory capture to try to create artificial barriers to adoption against their competition.

Re:How cool. (1)

landofcleve (1959610) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665655)

Yes, because only the death squads that come for you after curfew when martial law is enacted will have the totally silent cars.

Re:How cool. (1)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665373)

Tell me about it. We should also look back at the old looks at laws to have artificial horse heads mounted to cars to not scare horses back in the day.

any sound in the world.... (4, Insightful)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664743)

and they chose car noise. How uninspiring.

Re:any sound in the world.... (4, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664787)

All I want to know is if I can I turn it off? (without breaking some law...)

Re:any sound in the world.... (0)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664815)

Yeah, exactly. And if there is a law, how can we either circumvent it (no, sorry, that speaker broke just some minutes ago Officer) or get rid of it.

Re:any sound in the world.... (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664921)

Yeah, exactly. And if there is a law, how can we either circumvent it (no, sorry, that speaker broke just some minutes ago Officer) or get rid of it.

I doubt you would be prosecuted for having "too quiet" a vehicle... that is, until you hit someone with it because they couldn't hear you coming.

That happens, be prepared for a criminal negligence charge.

Re:any sound in the world.... (1, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665367)

If you can't be bothered to look both ways before crossing the street, it's you who are negligent. The only exception is the blind, and we have audible crosswalks now, so this technology is pointless.

Re:any sound in the world.... (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665521)

Sounds like "Oh sorry officer; my light broke just now", or "Yeah the doorlock JUST broke off one minute ago".

And then you can of course claim justice, but they won't give it to you and you're fscked. Or you pay an ever more pricey lawyer.

Re:any sound in the world.... (4, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664849)

and they chose car noise. How uninspiring.

Personally, I love the sound of my V8 revving up. But I also hate how much it costs to do that :)

Re:any sound in the world.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39665475)

I abhor the sound of a V8. I would much rather have a car that sounds like ramjet!

Re:any sound in the world.... (1)

Insightfill (554828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665647)

Personally, I love the sound of my V8 revving up. But I also hate how much it costs to do that :)

I foresee a market it downloadable "engine-tunes". Make your car sound like a V8, an I4, or even a Harley.

Personally, I'd still go for "silent", but I DID get a kick out of the roar of the engine in the Taurus that RoboCop drove.

Re:any sound in the world.... (3, Interesting)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664881)

Exactly why would it need to sound like a regular car.

Spend any time down town Vancouver and you will start to appreciate them having a little sound of some kind... Something like over 50% of the cabs in Vancouver are Toyota Prius and they sneak up on you all day long as a pedestrian.

Re:any sound in the world.... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665119)

Exactly why would it need to sound like a regular car.

So people who are blind or vision impaired can hear it coming and know it's a car.

Re:any sound in the world.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39665189)

Exactly! That's why they make the bird chirp noise for when the walk sign comes on at an intersection.

Oh wait... no... that wasn't why. Yet blind people figured it out somehow. Maybe with something called... ...an audiobook? Or braille book? Beats me!

Re:any sound in the world.... (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665195)

Then stop jaywalking?

Re:any sound in the world.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39665601)

My father is blind. His mailbox is across the street from his house. He needs to cross the street to get his mail. He would never hear an electric car coming down the street if it didn't make a sound that could be identified as a car.

Re:any sound in the world.... (0)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664899)

From what I understand the car sounds best achieve their goals.

They wanted something death people would perceive as a car.

And

They wanted something that people driving will associate the sound with them going faster so they are aware of their speed.

As it is though I expect the modding community to have an absolute blast with this. Expect really annoying sounds whose pitch will vary with the speed of the car.

Re:any sound in the world.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39664961)

They wanted something death people would perceive as a car.

I don't think the dead really care. :-)

Re:any sound in the world.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39664975)

They wanted something death people...

No... not yet.

Re:any sound in the world.... (5, Funny)

Sechr Nibw (1278786) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665115)

They wanted something death people would perceive as a car.

I think you meant to type "deaf people". And I think you meant to mean to type "blind people". Y'know, the ones that would get clues about their surroundings by listening to the new artificial sounds for silent-running cars?

Re:any sound in the world.... (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665399)

That's what I was thinking. I think visual cues would be much more useful to the deaf. The deaf only rarely care what something sounds like...

Re:any sound in the world.... (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665177)

So this being done for zombies? Otherwise why would dead people care?

And, yes, I know you meant 'deaf' but that makes even less sense than your typo.

Re:any sound in the world.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39665597)

Congratulations, you were able to point out that someone was probably using modern technology to "swipe" on their electronic touchpad, and it corrected their words to be something other than what he/she meant. But then you made fun of them because you're a jackass. Stick to the damn point of the article, as he oh-so-tried to do. you need to spend a day over at www.damnyouautocorrect.com and understand that people aren't all sitting at their desks. And no, that wasn't me, and yes I'm on my laptop. But that doesn't lessen the fact that you're a dick.

Re:any sound in the world.... (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665069)

If it doesn't sound like a car, do you know to jump out of the way?

Re:any sound in the world.... (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665571)

Car needed to make noise. Car.... noise.... noise that cars make.... car noise?

What did you expect? MP3 functionality? What about hearing Justin Bieber come by you everytime a pube drives his car past your block? -_-

Noise needed (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39664757)

I was just thinking, of all the things we need more in modern society, what would it be? The answer: NOISE!! Oh yeah. Its just too quiet in our cities.

To hell with noise pollution (5, Interesting)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664765)

I live in downtown Seattle and sometimes the noise is a bit much. The worst are the hogs that are designed to be incredibly noisy. People need to WATCH where they're going (look both ways, morons) and LOOK at the speedometer. And no, I'm not moving to some suburb or the country. It's not a living nightmare or anything, but I hardly see any good reason, other than just supporting stupidity, to actually put work into creating noise.

Re:To hell with noise pollution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39664793)

what about blind people?

Re:To hell with noise pollution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39664851)

The person responsible for the car is the driver.

Hopefully the driver is not blind.

Re:To hell with noise pollution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39664897)

what about blind people?

The blind peoples will heard the not so silent electric car. Only someone not paying attention (eg; non-blind and distracted idiots) wouldn't notice. Peoples just need to get use to the new sound. Adding motor sound, or custom hover car sound, are fine during transition.

Re:To hell with noise pollution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39665397)

Next you'll be complaining that the cloaking device on my car should emit some sort of pulsing light so that deaf people can still see my car. Sheesh. That kind of defeats the purpose of having an invisible car.

Re:To hell with noise pollution (1)

Denogh (2024280) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664827)

I live in downtown Seattle and sometimes the noise is a bit much. The worst are the hogs that are designed to be incredibly noisy. People need to WATCH where they're going (look both ways, morons) and LOOK at the speedometer. And no, I'm not moving to some suburb or the country. It's not a living nightmare or anything, but I hardly see any good reason, other than just supporting stupidity, to actually put work into creating noise.

The issue I've heard associated with this was the blind. You know, those folks who can't look both ways.

Re:To hell with noise pollution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39664965)

I live in downtown Seattle and sometimes the noise is a bit much. The worst are the hogs that are designed to be incredibly noisy. People need to WATCH where they're going (look both ways, morons) and LOOK at the speedometer. And no, I'm not moving to some suburb or the country. It's not a living nightmare or anything, but I hardly see any good reason, other than just supporting stupidity, to actually put work into creating noise.

The issue I've heard associated with this was the blind. You know, those folks who can't look both ways.

The blind peoples will heard the not so silent electric car. Only someone not paying attention (eg; non-blind and distracted idiots) wouldn't notice. Peoples just need to get use to the new sound. Adding motor sound, or custom hover car sound, are fine during transition.

Re:To hell with noise pollution (2)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664977)

I live in downtown Seattle and sometimes the noise is a bit much. The worst are the hogs that are designed to be incredibly noisy. People need to WATCH where they're going (look both ways, morons) and LOOK at the speedometer. And no, I'm not moving to some suburb or the country. It's not a living nightmare or anything, but I hardly see any good reason, other than just supporting stupidity, to actually put work into creating noise.

The issue I've heard associated with this was the blind. You know, those folks who can't look both ways.

I'm surprised they don't get hit by more bikes then. Maybe the driver should look. Come to think of it, this whole article is stupid anyway. They're already simulating sound...I mean, maybe not with a literal synthesizer, but my G35 would apparently be almost silent, but for the crap they've done with the exhaust. So, not sure this is entirely a new thing. I know, maybe they could implant things in blind people's ears that alert them of an oncoming silent car...like a super loud and startling BEEP?

Re:To hell with noise pollution (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665217)

I know, maybe they could implant things in blind people's ears that alert them of an oncoming silent car...like a super loud and startling BEEP?

Yea, that's waaaay more reasonable than attaching a loudspeaker to the car...

As if being blind wasn't bad enough...

Re:To hell with noise pollution (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665589)

I know, maybe they could implant things in blind people's ears that alert them of an oncoming silent car...like a super loud and startling BEEP?

Yea, that's waaaay more reasonable than attaching a loudspeaker to the car... As if being blind wasn't bad enough...

You can't count on sound, either. Would you literally trust your life to hearing a car coming? Hear both ways! I don't think so. How about instead of an inhumane implant, we go with either a removable shock collar (with id tag) or headphones with the voice of a beautiful woman, like Siri.

Re:To hell with noise pollution (4, Insightful)

pz (113803) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665021)

Two words: blind people.

Or more elaborately, everyone who can hear uses auditory cues to navigate in addition to other cues. Electric cars are highly unusual in that they make much less noise than their internal combustion engine counterparts. Until silent electric cars are commonplace enough that the public is aware that the normal sensitivity of audition may be insufficient to navigate as a pedestrian, adding sound would seem to be a good idea on the whole. Of course, the flip side is that people who are spending their time buried in their hand-held devices and don't look up when crossing the road are more likely to be weeded from the gene pool by silent cars, and some might consider that a plus. Getting to the point above, though, there are many people -- millions in the US alone -- with low vision or blindnes for whom automobile sounds are critical in warning of impending danger. Adding a modest sound to quiet electric cars definitely seems a good idea for them.

But if you really want to cut down on urban noise pollution, as your post implies, address trucks, buses, and construction crews. Non-electric cars just aren't that loud and motorcycles aren't that frequent. Try to talk on a mobile phone as a truck or bus drives past, though: it's impossible.

Re:To hell with noise pollution (1)

scot4875 (542869) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665333)

At least downtown Seattle only has to deal with engine noise; unlike NY where there's also all of the dimwits honking CONSTANTLY as if it will get them to their destination faster.

--Jeremy

Re:To hell with noise pollution (2)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665429)

At least downtown Seattle only has to deal with engine noise; unlike NY where there's also all of the dimwits honking CONSTANTLY as if it will get them to their destination faster.

--Jeremy

It's true that there is very rarely honking here. It's actually illegal, but more importantly, socially unacceptable. Even if you're totally right, you'll be looked at by bystanders like you're Hitler for touching that horn.

There is a benefit to the noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39664803)

Fewer blind people will be killed.

Re:There is a benefit to the noise (2)

rock56501 (1301287) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664865)

Noisemakers in all new Hybrid's/EV are required under a law that was passed during the lame-duck congressional session in Dec 2010. Toyota's Prius started putting them in the 2012 models.

Five blind peds are killed by automobiles a year (5, Informative)

stomv (80392) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665247)

NHTSA FARS data, 2002-2006: 27 legally blind pedestrians were killed by automobiles. 27/5 == 5.4 per year. Blind people being run over by automobiles simply isn't a rampant problem. Blind people often rely on audio cues to cross the street, but not the sound of engines. Instead, the chirp or verbal commands from crosswalk signal heads is the audio cue for blind pedestrians, combined with the trust that motorists will look for peds when turning right at intersections.

It's noise pollution, and it's oh so unnecessary.

Noise Ordinances (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39664821)

Every major city has one for speakers. If they are creating a sound, I wonder how that will work with our existing laws.

The sound I'd choose for my car (0)

wickerprints (1094741) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664855)

would be the nyan cat jingle

Re:The sound I'd choose for my car (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665011)

2 stroke weed eater

This is wonderful (5, Funny)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664875)

Finally men can spend their entire lives going "Vroom! Vroom!" behind the wheel, instead of being forced to stop at the tender age of 11.

My suggestion: (5, Funny)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664887)

The Jetsons.

If I ever get to choose my own sound, it will be this. [youtube.com]

Royalty (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665211)

How much would Warner Bros. Animation, owner of copyright in The Jetsons after it bought Hanna-Barbera, charge to license that signature sound?

Stealth (1)

synapse7 (1075571) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664915)

While the idea of adding fake noise to silent operation still seems silly to me, i was caught by surprise by a hybrid in a parking lot. I hate to be that guy, but there was enough other noise I didn't hear it rolling and it spooked me. Should cars be heard for safety reasons?

Re:Stealth (5, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665427)

You can just as easily be caught by surprise by a conventional engine car with a newer engine too. Should they also outlaw very good mufflers?

Onomatopoeia (2)

Cazekiel (1417893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664933)

If I got one of these, I'd just it in the driver's seat with the windows open, screeching "NYYYYYAAA! NE-YEEHHH! REEEEEEEEEEEE-OOOH! RRRRR! RRRR-CK!".

Raymond Scott's Powerhouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39664971)

The obvious answer continues to elude the automobile industry's greatest minds: Raymond Scott's Powerhouse. Thousands of electric cars on a highway playing Powerhouse in unison would be orgasmic!

3 years? seriously? (5, Insightful)

million_monkeys (2480792) | more than 2 years ago | (#39664999)

Am I the only one who thinks it shouldn't take 3 years to figure out how to make a car produce engine noises? There are plenty of video games out there that manage to pull it off and I doubt any of them spent even 3 months on designing engine noises. Granted they didn't have to work out all the hardware involved, but even that doesn't seem like it should take years.

Re:3 years? seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39665081)

Card in the spokes. Done!

Re:3 years? seriously? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665325)

Am I the only one who thinks it shouldn't take 3 years to figure out how to make a car produce engine noises?

No, no you are not. When I read that, I thought, really? 3 years? Uh, lemme see... loudspeaker + audio source + the tachometer = programmable sound that varies with engine speed. Took me all of 10 seconds.

Sometimes I think letting engineers have all the fun when it comes to design is part of the problem; they tend to forget Occam's Razor. Then again, with all the drive-by-wire stuff they're mucking about with these days, maybe I shouldn't be surprised the auto engineers forgot that, at it's base, a car is a mechanical device.

Re:3 years? seriously? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39665335)

It takes 10 minutes to reproduce a car sound, it takes the remainder of the 3 years to retake that step and find a sound that has not already been copyrighted...

The time is not spent on development (4, Insightful)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665507)

Rest assured, from the technical side they could do it very quickly, as you outlined.

The problem is more than likely in market research. Bringing people in, asking them to listen to 50 varieties of car noises and judging them, to find just the "right" one that is pleasant, audible, but not overpowering, and most importantly better than any competitors.

Just like software development for consumers, often it's the UX/UI that is very time consuming and nit-picky, not the actual software itself.

Isn't this a micro managing issue? (4, Interesting)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665019)

Look at it this way, some one was just killed by a bicycle and the blind deal with those everyday and they are just as quiet. 99% of the people benefiting from the sound will in fact be people that can't be bothered to look first. I've had gasoline running cars that were silent enough I didn't hear them approach. There does seem to be a touch of insanity making regulations that require noise pollution. Whether it's hydrogen or battery electric motor driven vehicles are likely the future so are we now setting a standard that we are committing to a future of gasoline engine sounding cars from here on out? To me it seems a little like demanding cars make the sound of horse hooves a 100 years ago so people were more comfortable with the transition.

Make it an extra... (2)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665025)

... so the rest of us do not have to pay for the system if we decide to buy the car.

Don't install one? Your fault (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665233)

That depends on whether you want to be held liable for wrongful death and/or guilty for vehicular manslaughter. Car insurers at the very least will probably require them.

Re:Don't install one? Your fault (1)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665277)

If someone is too stupid to look before walking into the street, they deserve to be run over.

Re:Don't install one? Your fault (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665569)

Where does this leave people who are not stupid yet unable to look, such as the blind?

Re:Don't install one? Your fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39665607)

... like ... the blind?

Bubba Rub? (5, Funny)

imag0 (605684) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665073)

Bubba Rub was a visionary

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nnzw_i4YmKk [youtube.com]

Reporter: Can you tell me about the whistles?
Bubb Rubb: The whistles go WOO-- You wanna WOO WOO--
Reporter: Some neighbors are saying it’s “way too loud.”
Bubb Rubb: That’s only in the mowrning. He’s supposed to be up cooking breakfast or something, so it’s like an alarm clock!

Yeah (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665083)

Either a TARDIS arriving sound or warp engine.

BTW, there's a gauge on most cars that tell you how fast it's going. Just tossin that out there FYI.

Re:Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39665491)

BTW, there's a gauge on most cars that tell you how fast it's going. Just tossin that out there FYI.

I think that things tend to flash by faster as I start to speed up... has anyone else noticed this?

Re:Yeah (1)

flirno (945854) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665657)

Record two coconuts banging together repeatedly.

Download ringtones for your car!!!* (2)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665123)

*Be sure to get your parent's permission first. $4.00 licensing fee per month.

Actually... (1)

Kiyyik (954108) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665135)

I understand that they're just taking four large playing cards, jamming them in the spokes of the wheels and leaving it at that.

Another Cool Audi add-on (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665137)

I hear it has an optional TOPS-20 nav system installed with a Microsoft Bob-like GUI overlay for only $10,100

Sounds like Tron Lightcycles to me (2)

Wheels17 (780115) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665173)

All I could think of when I heard it is the Tron Lightcycle sound. A little high frequency filter and it's the same thing.

Playing cards on the wheels... (2)

jrmcc (703725) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665175)

Problem solved!!

They should just use baseball cards (1)

Marrow (195242) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665253)

Back in the old days, we just used baseball cards and clothespins to give our bikes sound effects.

Two Different Issues (4, Informative)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665295)

There are two different issues being merged into one here:
  • Vehicle noise outside the car - to warn pedestrians/other motorists/etc. of the car's presence;
  • Vehicle noise inside the car - so the driver has a perception of how fast they are driving.

A speaker making 'vroom vroom' noises outside the car does nothing for the driver - most modern Audi-class cars are so quiet inside you can barely hear an internal combustion engine. Some cars (even loud high-performance ones) already artifically add engine noise to the stereo system [cnet.com] so the driver can gauge their speed.

Re:Two Different Issues (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665623)

Noise outside the car is not required. The sound of tires on the road are already quite loud when the car is moving at anything higher than parking lot speeds.

And at low velocities, given a new conventional engine and a decent muffler, you might not head a conventional car approaching anyways... so there is no real difference, unless you are going to also propose that they outlaw good mufflers.

Noise inside the car is not required. An inexperienced driver is going to have to glance at a speedometer to know how fast they are going, and an experienced driver will be able to judge roughly how fast they are going by how quickly they appear to be passing things. The most you might need is a startup noise to inform the driver that the engine has successfully started... personally, I'd be partial to something along the lines of a bios POST beep, although I can easily see people wanting to use different (customizable) sounds for it.

Audi's aren't that quiet inside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39665643)

most modern Audi-class cars are so quiet inside you can barely hear an internal combustion engine.

I drive a 2000 Audi A4 Quattro with the 30-valve V6. It is not very quiet inside at all. I have to crank the stereo up pretty high to hear over the engine and road noise on the highway. Maybe the newest, and most expensive Audi's, like the A8, are quieter, but the little ones are as noisy as there Volkswagen counterparts.

I hate this idea (2)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665303)

I want my car silent.

As to blind people crossing the road. That's just going to be a new challenge. I don't see why everyone in society has to have engine noise in otherwise silent cars just so blind people can tell cars are coming.

Of all the idiotic ideas.... (5, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665387)

Oh noes... the car is too quiet! It could sneak up on somebody before they hear it!!!!

Give me a break.

Seriously... this is just such a colossally stupid idea that it had to be dreamed up by lawyers.

In some newer conventional engine cars, you have to strain to listen for the engine, when its on a low speed. Are they going to now require that mufflers not cut out more than certain amount of sound?

And at higher speeds, you're going to hear the sound of the tires on the road LONG before you hear the sound of engine, unless, again, the engine is an older one or the muffler isn't doing it's job correctly.

Are they going to also require that bicycles have such noisemakers installed? What about motorized wheelchairs? Both can cause extremely serious injury to people when moving at high velocities.

This idea is just so incredibly stupid that it gives me a headache just trying to imagine the mentality of people who thought it was a good notion.

I prefer to spend my gasoline on MPG... (1)

junglebeast (1497399) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665447)

Burns gas and ozone for no reason.

The music in Family Guy (1)

Rhacman (1528815) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665463)

The bus traveling music that accompanies Peter in the Family Guy episode where he wishes for his own theme music.

At around 0:50 in this poorly captured clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lN9GAApDpsw [youtube.com]

Or, perhaps the bus theme music in Earthbound: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVv5CuKgAzg [youtube.com]

It's not only cars (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39665481)

Haven't you wondered why your digital camera makes a shutter noise? In some cases including a motordrive sound.

The Marching Morons (1)

Dusty101 (765661) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665563)

Wasn't this in the above novella (or something like it)?

I vaguely remember reading some story years ago about how they made cars for the stupid people that actually went really slowly, but had huge tail-fins & made really impressive growly engine noises, so as to fool the drivers into thinking they were going a lot faster than they were.

I Despise The Whole Idea (3, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665565)

Noise pollution is one of the biggest banes of living in urban areas, and to say that automobiles contribute significantly to noise pollution is a major understatement.

Sure, keep them quiet, and a few more people will die every year. Mostly stupid people.

I say it's worth it, for reducing the noise and proven stress levels they cause, which everybody else has to deal with.

What about the people next to the road (1)

nicolaiplum (169077) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665619)

What about the people who live next to a road? Or people walking along a separated pavement (sidewalk to the Americans) next to a road? Quieter cars benefit them all - in fact the reason we have maximum noise restrictions on cars at all is to reduce noise pollution to others.

Why should we require noise pollution?

Is this going to be some attempt to legislate that urban areas have as much vehicle noise in future, as they do today and no less?

Mini-Horn? (2)

Sperbels (1008585) | more than 2 years ago | (#39665641)

As a bicyclist, I sometimes get the shit scared out of me when I'm riding on the road and a really quiet car passes. I can get so startled that I swerve. Maybe cars could have two horns. The regular one that busts people's ear drums, and a small beeper type horn that you could use to alert pedestrians and cyclists to your presence.
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