My car sings to me!

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Kathy, Aug 2, 2018.

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  1. Kathy

    Kathy New Member

    I'm getting used to my new Honda Clarity, my first vehicle with anything other than a standard gas engine. The EV motor makes an interesting noise, kind of like an orchestral chord, and the pitch varies according to how fast I'm revving the engine. I notice it much more when I'm driving slowly. At first I thought it was a start-up noise from the infotainment system! I wasn't 100% sure it was normal until I was at the dealership today following up on some paperwork and I heard it from another vehicle.

    Anyone know more about that noise? Now I prefer to just think that my car is singing to me. I hope I'm not the only person hearing it, otherwise I'm going to the doctor LOL!
    Daniel M W and Domenick like this.
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  3. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    There is a pedestrian alert that sounds until you hit 18 mph and some have noticed a whine at about 28 to 32 mph. But it’s much nicer to say the car is singing to you. ;)
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  4. Kathy

    Kathy New Member

    So is that noise deliberately added? I assumed it was part of the EV motor since the pitch varies with my speed, and also I didn't hear it when my battery was at zero and running on gas.
  5. Yes, the sound is to alert pedestrians in the parking lot that a nearly silent electric vehicle is driving by
  6. ZedFez

    ZedFez Member

    Yep. It’s deliberate! Feel free to sing along. Not sure how I’d describe it. Thought about it today actually... kind of like a church choir mode synthesizer.
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  8. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    See Owners Manual page 393, "Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System."
    Interestingly, the Canadian Claritys have a button to turn off the pedestrian warning. Perhaps there's some form of Canadian wildlife that's attracted to the eerie musical chord, so they need a way to disable it.
  9. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Out Prius had a nose to but more like a machine noise.
  10. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    Hmmm. I first reported that whistle/whine between 28 and 34 MPH, which some others have confirmed.

    You make an interesting point. It does kind of resemble the weird pedestrian warning sounds at stop or low speeds. Maybe there is a quirk that causes the same device to sing at that higher speed range, too. It would have to be louder, though. I can't hear the low speed sound inside the car with the windows closed.
  11. Schaffer970

    Schaffer970 New Member

    We refer to the low speed sound as angels singing. Beats the heck out of the angry bees sound

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
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  13. Texas22Step

    Texas22Step Well-Known Member

    More than you ever wanted to know about "singing EV's":

    This pedestrian-oriented synthetic noise all started with a new politically correct federal law in 2010 that has cost car makers (read instead "car customers") an estimated $23 million and which took federal regulators some 6 years to implement. I remember this because I purchased a 2014 Accord Hybrid, that thankfully escaped this particular regulatory net when the rules were postponed "for more coordination." The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration even had a web site where one could listen to the proposed synthetic sounds and, according to one article, "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."
  14. JJD

    JJD New Member

    Any mods available yet? Like, say, the Jetsons car?

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
  15. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    A Star Wars Tie Fighter might be interesting, too.

    A custom (waterproof) box could be designed to detect either an audio signal (if the OEM box is just a speaker emitting a sound generated by a computer elsewhere in the car) or a simple 12-volt input (if the OEM box contains all the sound-generating circuitry) and emit a user-defined sound. If all the Honda cars that emit this sound use the same OEM box, I'd expect someone to eventually make a programmable replacement.
  16. JJD

    JJD New Member

    Looking at that aggressive front end, it does have more of a "Darth Vader" look than "Rosie the Robot" about it...
  17. AnthonyW

    AnthonyW Well-Known Member

    It remotely sounds like the ice cream truck. We all know that as a kid you could hear the ice cream truck from 57.2 miles away. I have a 4 and a half year old and a lot of small kids in my neighborhood so I’m glad it’s there and it serves a great purpose.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
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  18. Steven B

    Steven B Active Member

    Those of us who are not blind have a hard time understanding why some things are necessary for the good of society...
  19. Ordell98

    Ordell98 New Member

    In my neighborhood there are lots of tight alleys and driveways that cross sidewalks into streets, being "not blind" isn't enough for pedestrians used to the loud rumble of a slow ICE.
    The EV chord is very helpful in replacing the familiar ICE rumble sound with something that triggers caution and awareness in pedestrians.
  20. rickyrsx

    rickyrsx Active Member

    But it will turn back on the next time - it is not permanently turned off.
  21. Akinto

    Akinto Member

    Here’s a lovely video of possible options.

    Clarity Dave and ZedFez like this.
  22. Odobo

    Odobo Active Member

    Hmm.... Guess you aren't living in a city where people usually are looking at their phone when they cross the streets...
    Ordell98 likes this.
  23. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    It's a good thing. And those who don't like it can buy themselves a vehicle that makes noise in another fashion. I am still partial to the sound of a V-8 getting thwopped at low speed.
    Ordell98 likes this.

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