Cars Making Noise - To Save Lives

Monday, 5 September 2011
Given its reputation for racing and road performance going cars that are anything but quiet, it should come as no surprise that, Lotus Engineering, the design and technology division of one of the most famous car brands in the world, is working on making silent cars louder and, in doing so, to save lives.

But to have a car that simply made noise all the time means additional – and unnecessary for most of the time – noise pollution.

So Lotus and HARMAN have created an intelligent pedestrian warning system integrating the advanced HALOsonic sound synthesis system with video technology that spots pedestrians as the car approaches and sends noise in their direction at suitable volume to warn them of the car’s approach.

The system will even allow the driver to choose the noise their car emits, from reproductions of conventional car engines, through music to science fiction sounds!

The system has been built into the Lotus Evora hybrid demonstration car and will have an obvious role in the Lotus City Car, an electric urban car set to be part of the new car of Lotus cars to be launched in coming years.

The system on this latest version of HALOsonic, a collaboration between HARMAN and Lotus uses a single camera to determine the distance, trajectory and speed of pedestrians and other road users, calculating the risk of collision by comparing this information with the car’s path.

The new HALOsonic system uses this data to actively control the volume of the External Sound Synthesis to warn pedestrians of the vehicle’s location, thereby improving pedestrian safety and reducing noise pollution.

Under certain conditions the system will generate an audible and visual warning for the driver using the Internal Sound Synthesis and instrument panel.

The new active system is optimised to operate in urban environments where there is the greatest risk of a collision with a pedestrian. It is calibrated to actively control the volume and pitch of the sound synthesised while the vehicle is travelling from 0 - 75 km/h, continually evaluating the risk of a pedestrian collision and operating in an area up to 60 metres ahead of the vehicle.

Governments around the world have acknowledged the increased risk posed by almost silent vehicles and are in the process of drawing up legislation to compel car manufacturers to equip vehicles with pedestrian warning systems like the HALOsonic system.

The HALOsonic system offers the ability to tune the sound synthesis to a manufacturer’s requirements, giving the capability to synthesise anything from a conventional engine sound to a very futuristic Sci-Fi designer sound.”

Danger Will Robinson!!!!!

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