Tesla will soon be equipping its electric cars with various optional sounds for the pedestrian warning system and horn. Monty Python fan Elon Musk, for example, will be playing the sound of two rattling coconut shells from the Holy Grail classic – horse incoming.
Also less “culturally-valued” sounds such as farts and goat noises have been discussed, although in this case, we’d prefer the more sonorous roar of an old internal combustion engine.
Jokes aside though, the Tesla initiative has a more serious background. AVAS, the Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, is upon us that prescribes electric cars to make an artificial driving noise in the name of safety. AVAS is already mandatory for type-tested vehicles from 1 July. From 2021, all newly registered electrified passenger cars must follow, according to EU and UNECE regulations. Perhaps by then, first-generation electric vehicles like the BMW i3, Tesla Model 3 and Volkswagen e-Golf will become instant classics – because they are silent.
💨 & 🐐 sounds too (also, of course)
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 6, 2019
While US regulators appear to take an open approach, Tesla might find it harder introducing the new sounds in Europe, however. The latest EU rules specify that an electric vehicle’s fake noise “should sound similar to the sound of a vehicle of the same category equipped with an internal combustion engine”. A requirement other organisations for the blind also confirmed during recent sound checks in London. So it looks like that rules out any animalistic sounds, artificial or not. Sorry, Arthur (and Elon)!
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