What will the sound of the taxi industry sound like?
New EU regulations will come into force from July, which will require all new electric vehicles to be sold with a Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS). The AVAS will help protect pedestrians and other road users from silent electric cars.
It is said that drivers will be able to select the sound of the vehicle they drive so long as certain markers are met. Some of the current sounds created range from a traditional V8 roar to a futuristic UFO sound.
Some industries, like the taxi trade, could see this as an opportunity to create an audio brand to help advertise their service and availability in slow moving traffic.
EU Regulation on the Sound Level of Motor Vehicles and EU Requirement ECE R138, state that the AVAS must emit a noise at a minimum sound level of 56db, similar to that of an electric toothbrush, when travelling at speeds up to 12mph.
The new rules also state that the noise from the AVAS “should be a continuous one providing the vehicle driving behaviour to other road users and pedestrians”. That means the noise created should mimic that of a traditional internal combustion engine when it accelerates or slows down.
The new regulation will start 1 July 2019 and will see all new electric and hybrid vehicles sold with AVAS. It is said that all other electric vehicles will require the “white noise” warning to be fitted by 2021.
Campaigners who forced the change in law said that blind people and cyclists using headphones are most at risk from the new electric vehicles.
Last year, Kevin Clinton from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said; “The greatest risks associated with electric vehicles are when they are travelling at low speeds, such as in urban areas with lower limits, as the noise from tyres and the road surface, and aerodynamic noise, are minimal at those speeds.”