New Law Makes EVs Emit Noise To Warn Pedestrians

Thu 6th Jun 2019

A new EU law is to come into force next month which will require all new electric and hybrid vehicles to be fitted with an Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS).

Vehicles must emit a minimum sound of 56 decibels when travelling at speeds of up to 12mph according to the law, and the early AVAS systems will make noises that sound like an electric toothbrush.
The system has been introduced to give pedestrians a better understanding of a vehicle’s behaviour and the sound level should change according to the vehicle’s acceleration or deceleration, mimicking the noise levels of a traditional combustion engine.

Whilst some motor manufacturers may have developed their own AVAS system, audio company Harman has worked on their own solution which is ready to be adapted to any vehicles which has no AVAS fitted.
Harman's senior director for car audio product strategy and planning, Rajus Augustine, said: "Given the ever-increasing number of hybrid and electric vehicles on our roads, the risk to pedestrians, cyclists and vulnerable groups has risen exponentially over the years. AVAS technologies such as [our] HALOsonic eESS offer an affordable and effective way of increasing pedestrian awareness of an approaching EV in noisy urban environments.”
Many EVs already incuding the Renault ZOE and Nissan Leaf already have AVAS built in, though drivers have the option of deactivating the system. With customisation noises built in to the Harman system it is hoped that the systems will be quickly adopted across the fleet of EVs from next month.