Low Speed Warning Sound

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by BobS, Oct 18, 2018.

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  1. Is there a way to control the volume of the low speed warning sound?
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  3. Not that I am aware of. I believe Canadian cars have an off switch. United States cars do not, unfortunately
  4. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Would you turn the volume up to make your car less likely to hit a pedestrian? Or would you turn the volume down?
  5. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Here’s a laugher for you. Jaguar spent 4 years of research to come up with the perfect pedestrian warning sound that even changed pitch according to speed and then had to scrap it. It seems that the sound was so much like a UFO that it made pedestrians look up at the sky instead of looking out for an approaching car!
  6. petteyg359

    petteyg359 Well-Known Member

    If I hadn't heard it before, I would look around for a church with a choir or organist inside echoing out instead of a Clarity on the road. Can't wait for the world of pedestrian-safe driverless BEVs so all the stupid sound effects can be scrapped, but the choir is a million times better than a gas engine :p
    RogerB likes this.
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  8. I believe the sound is required by the DOT to protect pedestrians. I would turn it up a bit if I could.
    insightman, Alantn and AnthonyW like this.
  9. AnthonyW

    AnthonyW Well-Known Member

    Applause, like, upvote.

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  10. Texas22Step

    Texas22Step Well-Known Member

    This singing car noise at low speeds all started with a 2010 US federal law requiring makers of EV's to implement this. It took 6 years for the Washington bureaucracy to implement this by regulation, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration even had a web site devoted to the selection of the mandatory sounds: "The proposed sounds are posted on NHTSA’s website, and automakers will have to choose between 'pleasant sounding, brainwave, thought-stealing machine' sound or 'piercing-wail-that-will-drive-your-dog-batshit-in-the-morning' sound." https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/11/feds-postpone-hybrid-ev-warning-noises-next-year/. The mandatory nature of this US federal law probably explains why the Canadian version of the Clarity has an on/off switch and why the Jaguar UFO sound mentioned in KK's post in this thread never made it off the ground (pun intended).
  11. Atkinson

    Atkinson Active Member

    It does sound like a church organ.
    Our Fit EV sounded like the doors opening and closing on the starship Enterprise.
    I like the church organ sound better.
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  13. Claire Green

    Claire Green Member

    I don't think mine is working, I open the window while backing out of my garage or backing out of a grocery parking spot to listen for the warning sound but I don't hear anything. Can you guys hear it from inside the car or do I have to be out of the car to hear it? Mine is US model so no off switch accidentally turned off. Is there a fuse for this warning sound I could check to save me a trip to the dealer?
  14. jorgie393

    jorgie393 Active Member

    The Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, at least some of it, is fuse C7. I doubt the fuse is the problem though—as if C7 is out it also would interfere with the climate control unit and the reverse light/backup relay.

    My suspicion is that it’s working fine. I can’t hear it myself unless I have driver’s window down and I am backing up next to something large (like a wall) thay reflects the sound.
  15. petteyg359

    petteyg359 Well-Known Member

    I agree. Wherever the external speakers are, they're obviously designed to project the sound outwards from the car rather than back to the driver (which would be useless). It's quite audible echoing off the wall when I'm in EV mode going 3 mph up the drive-through lane at a restaurant, though.
  16. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I believe the single speaker is low and at the front of the car on the driver's side. I hear it when going up the driveway next to our house.
  17. weave

    weave Active Member

    Teenagers seem to be able to hear it a lot better than us old folks. I've asked my (65 yo) wife to listen for it while driving up on her, and she doesn't hear it. Meanwhile I've had a few teenagers remark to me that they knew it was an electric car by the way it sounded when I pulled up.
  18. petteyg359

    petteyg359 Well-Known Member

    Maybe they assume old people are "old enough to know better" and will pay attention to traffic in the parking lot or street around them without external cues :p
  19. M.M.

    M.M. Active Member

    Out of curiosity, were the teenagers definitely commenting on the choir sound, or could it have been the actual whine of the electronics?

    Inside the vehicle with the windows up I can just barely hear the choir sound at very low speeds on a smooth road, but, particularly if I go heavy on the accelerator, the relatively whine of the power electronics and/or electric motors is quite audible (that just basically sounds like the electric equivalent of an engine revving to me), and there is a separate extremely high-pitched power electronics noise that's just at the border of my 40-year-old hearing. I suspect that the higher-pitched electronic noise in particular would be significantly more audible to teenage ears with more extreme-high-range hearing intact, and it might also be louder outside the car than in. I know that Priuses the power electronic whine is quite a bit louder outside than in.
  20. RogerB

    RogerB Active Member

    That's the first thing I thought of too!
  21. weave

    weave Active Member

    > Out of curiosity, were the teenagers definitely commenting on the choir sound, or could it have been the actual whine of the electronics?

    Not sure. Like I've dropped my wife off at curb side at the movies where there were teenagers around and she said they asked about the car and one girl said she knew it was an electric car by the way it sounded. Since it was moving so slow I'd say it was the choir sound. Contrast that to the dealership I got it from where I literally bought it from the showroom floor. While I was at the sales rep desk someone drove it out of the showroom. To me all I heard was nothing but the tires squeaking along the tile floor. But I also have a bad case of tinnitus too (too many rock concerts in the 70s)
  22. Claire Green

    Claire Green Member

    Thanks for pointing out the fuse number and help ruling it out because climate control is working and nothing wrong with reverse light. I may just have the wife drive it out of the garage while I stand outside to listen for myself. I know the angry bees sound so now I'm curious about the church choir sound as well.
  23. ab13

    ab13 Active Member

    A Clarity was driving towards me in a parking lot. It wasn't going fast, but I thought the sound wasn't that loud. I was probably within a car length before I could hear it.

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