Thursday, December 10, 2009
Lotus Adds Some Sound into Hybrids and All-Electric Vehicles
Electric and hybrid vehicles (when running on electric power only) have recently come in for heavy criticism from blind and partially sighted people due to the almost silent operation of the electric engine that puts them at risk as they cannot hear the vehicles approaching. To deal with this problem, Lotus has developed a system that emulates the sound of a real engine based on the vehicles speed and throttle position. -Continued
The Lotus ‘Safe & Sound’ Hybrid technology demonstrator uses a standard Toyota Prius fitted with a waterproof loudspeaker system positioned adjacent to the radiator allowing the sound to emanate from the front of the vehicle. The system is completely automatic stopping the external synthesis once the gasoline motor kicks in. When the powertrain control system switches the car back to running on the electric motor only, the synthesis controller instantaneously sets the system running again.