Thursday, March 14, 2019

Hybrid Electric Cars, Vans and Trucks - All Need to be Heard by Vulnerable Road Users

Quiet Vehicle Sounder Addresses a Very Real Problem with the New Technology
Shipping News Feature
UK – WORLDWIDE – With hybrid/electric vehicles growing rapidly in popularity one drawback of this latest generation of private and commercial transport is knowing when it is actually coming. Thus Brigade Electronics launched the award-winning Quiet Vehicle Sounder (QVS), a speaker system designed to reduce collisions between pedestrians or cyclists and these near silent vehicles, after getting involved with the Quiet Road Transport Vehicles working group in 2010 to try and establish requirements for a UN standard.

Brigade were the first company to introduce reversing alarms into the UK and now, with most hybrid/electric vehicles virtually silent when travelling at under 20 kilometres per hour they are almost inevitably more likely to be involved in accidents with vulnerable road users who simply do not hear the vehicle approaching. Known as an AVAS (Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System) across the automotive market, the Quiet Vehicle Sounder simulates an internal combustion engines sound characteristics by emitting a blend of bbs-tek® White Sound® frequencies and tonal sounds.

Reports from the US Department of Transportation estimate that the odds of a hybrid/electric passenger vehicle being in a pedestrian crash are 22% greater than an internal combustion engine passenger vehicle, and the risks from the new generation of electrically powered trucks doubtless mirror this.

As with a reversing alarm the need is for the vehicle to give a suitable level of disturbance to attract the cyclist’s or pedestrian’s attention and the Quiet Vehicle Sounder changes pitch according to the speed of the vehicle, mimicking a combustion engine’s characteristics when accelerating and slowing down, a sound that is easily identified as a vehicle by a vulnerable road user. Brigade Managing Director, Philip Hanson-Abbott, commented:

“We are delighted to bring an award-winning solution to a growing market that will alleviate the dangers posed by quiet vehicles. Sound is an important contributor to safety on the roads, yet electric and hybrid vehicles are silent.”

Photo: All drivers know there are problems enough with many modern pedestrians and cyclists.