The Tokyo Motor Show is under way, and one of the first concept cars at the show - the Nissan Canto, focuses on 'sound' as a priority factor for electric vehicles. The idea was first raised about a year back, when the question of on-road noise as an alerting factor was first raised. With electric cars practically making minimal audible noise, the factor of pedestrians being alerted by the noise of an approaching car with a conventional engine is going to gradually recede, and this calls for a way to factor in an artificial noise source from electric cars.
Daniele Schillaci, Executive Vice President for Global Marketing and Sales of Nissan's Zero-Emission Vehicles and Battery Business said in a statement, "Canto has been developed to help with pedestrian safety, as well as to provide a distinct Nissan sound – one that is energizing and confident, authentic to our brand and representing our unique position in the electrified marketplace." The aim is to maintain on-road noise from cars as per convention, but all the while adapt it to the environment as per conditions. The Canto sound will be a 'song' of sorts, and differ from the conventional sound of engines heard on road nowadays. It will vary in tone and pitch, depending on whether the vehicle is accelerating, decelerating or reversing, and will be activated at speeds upward of 30kmph.
This noise will help normalise electric vehicles into present day urban cities, and will play a crucial role, at least in the near future when electric vehicles are expected to play an increasingly important role in our daily lives. Pedestrians often react to the noise of approaching vehicles and this in turn acts as a very important factor when it comes to road safety. Nissan has previously worked on 'Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians' to make roads safer for both pedestrians and cars, and the Nissan Canto will have a similar effect in the long run.
The way cars ply on our roads is slated to completely change, with a clear shift towards hybrid and fully electric vehicles in the long run to help reduce pollution and use electricity as a viable alternate energy source. Furthermore, with autonomous and connected car technology due to take mainstream importance over the next few years, mobility is expected to take a drastic step away from how it is right now, and this is where elements like the Nissan Canto will play a major role.