Low Speed Exterior Noise for Pedestrians?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Bina12834, Dec 6, 2018.

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  1. Bina12834

    Bina12834 Member

    According to this video review the Clarity makes an external noise at low speeds to let pedestrians know you're there. The video actually picks up the noise when he mentions it and I heard it a couple of other times in the video as well. It sounds like a futuristic spaceship kind of noise. Has anyone heard this before?

    (mentioned at 4:06 for those of you that don't want to watch the whole video)
    Ken7 likes this.
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  3. MikeB

    MikeB Member

    Yes, mine does that. It's hard to hear inside the car unless you put the windows down, at least with my 60 year old auditory system.
  4. RogerB

    RogerB Active Member

    Yes. It's a little hard to hear when out in the open if you're in the car, but when I pull into the garage it is very noticeable. We call it the angels singing.
    Eddgie, KentuckyKen and insightman like this.
  5. Mariner91

    Mariner91 Member

    Do you recall at what speed you hear it? I've been trying to get it from 10 mph to 20 mph with the windows down and have yet to hear anything.
  6. MikeB

    MikeB Member

    No, but like Roger I heard it most clearly the one and only time I pulled the car into a garage (with windows down). So I was going less than 10 mph in that case.
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  8. Bina12834

    Bina12834 Member

    I have to imagine it only happens at low (parking lot) speeds, so probably below 10mph.

    But, wow! I didn't even know that was a thing until that video. How courteous of Honda to think of pedestrians.
  9. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    It starts the moment the car moves forward and continues through 18 mph. I believe it is dictated by law. It can be turned off in the Canadian version but not U.S. version.

    The Prius we've owned also made a noise but more subtle.
    Eddgie, Mariner91 and K8QM like this.
  10. Margo

    Margo New Member

    I've always heard that noise in the garage, just didn't realize what it was. It is somewhat "angelic."
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  12. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Yeah and I don’t see how this would alert pedestrians frankly...it doesn’t sound anything like a car, the pitch is high and older people who are hard of hearing can’t hear it anyway (my father can’t hear it at all even when I demonstrated it and he was standing by the hood) and it is very quiet....any ambient noise drowns it out. I see it as just another conversation piece of the car. Indeed it exists. Seems like only at 5 mph or less...there’s a speaker under the hood somewhere...
  13. Mariner91

    Mariner91 Member

    Thanks! I usually back up going into the garage lol, but will test below 10 MPH. I'm really curious haha
  14. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Page 393 in the Owners Manual describes the "Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System." Well, all it really says is:
    Alerts pedestrians that a vehicle is approaching when
    the vehicle speed is around 12 mph (20 km/h) or less.

    That page also shows where to find the button to turn off the Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System in Canadian Claritys. This Canadian Clarity stealth mode persists only until the Clarity is powered off.

    As for the law, Wikipedia says "The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued its final ruling in February 2018, and requires the device to emit warning sounds at speeds less than 18.6 mph (30 km/h) with compliance by September 2020, but 50% of "quiet" vehicles must have the warning sounds by September 2019." So Honda will soon have to adjust the cut-off speed for the alert upwards by 6.8 mph.

    In one of the posters I made to display next to my Clarity at an electrified car meet last summer (please, no fact-checking on poster), I listed the "Easy Way to Drive a Clarity" vs. the "Engaged Way to Drive a Clarity." The final item in the "Engaged" list was, "Under 12 mph, hearken to the sound of angels singing to save pedestrians." I don't get to use the word, "hearken" very often.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
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  15. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    I know mine are on because dogs being walked in the neighborhood always do an about-face as I drive near.
    Pegsie likes this.
  16. Clarity Dave

    Clarity Dave Member

    It works in reverse, too. That's when I hear it, backing out of my garage.
    Mariner91 likes this.
  17. Surprisingly it even plays if you coast in Neutral! Our driveway is sloped so sometimes when backing out I just coast. I was surprised to hear the chiming play while coasting backwards.
    ClarityDoc likes this.
  18. David Towle

    David Towle Well-Known Member

    I didn't realize hearken is an alternate spelling of harken. Thanks!
  19. Dan McInerney

    Dan McInerney Member

    The pedestrian warning sounds like a Hans Zimmer film score.
  20. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    I paid more attention to the low speed sound today. My Clarity will emit the sound as soon as the car rolls. I can't go one foot without hearing it. I could hear it as I slowly accelerated on a quiet street with the windows down. But I lost the sound before I got to 18 mph strictly due to tire noise on the pavement. It may or may not have continued up to 18 mph.

    I see the user manual mentions 12 mph but I figure Honda would simply comply with the future regulation and make the sound up to 18 mph.

    Personally I'd like to have the switch so I could enable it when I want to.
  21. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I wonder if the Canadian Claritys record when their drivers turn off the Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System? If the Clarity maintained a record of when the sound was on or off, an injured pedestrian's personal-injury lawyer would certainly be issuing a summons for that data.

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