Escola das Artes / CITAR Centro Criatividade Digital Escola das Artes - UCP
November 5th 2012
School of Arts / CCD Catholic University of Portugal

Why should electric vehicles produce sound?

Traffic noise affects society in general, with a clear impact on the level of productivity, well being and health. Electric vehicles, being inherently quiet, provide a great opportunity for positive social change, and part of that adjustment must be cultural.

Until recently, automotive experts invested their time finding ways to reduce the level of sound produced by cars with internal combustion engines. Currently though, the question arises conversely, to the extent that different surveys reveal an increased risk of collision of quieter vehicles with pedestrians and cyclists. For example, the U.S. legislation on pedestrian safety, published in 2011, requires that, in the near future, these vehicles have an audible alert.

However, the opportunity might not be to merely replace the current paradigm of automobile noise with an aproximate substitute with only road safety in mind. In fact, our time is of an unprecedented chance to redefine the soundscape of roads and cities, by building a compreehensive system that manages tone and intensity of noise, provides adaptability to environment, time of day, traffic congestion and road conditions. All of these factors, as much as the drivers point of view, will play an important role in the future of sound design for electric vehicles.

The Digital Creativity Center (CCD) of the School of the Arts of the Catholic University of Portugal, is promoting an initiative that opens the discussion of a topic increasingly debated internationally: the sound design for electric vehicles. Promoted in partnership with several national and international entities with interest and activity in the development of electric vehicles and audio research, this initiative brings together a group of experts from industry and academia, who will present and discuss different perspectives and concerns around this emerging topic.

Universidade Católica Portuguesa - Escola das Artes/ CITAR Escola das Artes - UCP CITAR Centro de Criatividade Digital

School of Arts / CCD
Catholic University of Portugal