Nissan has revealed that it has extended its expertise to a European Commission-led project, eVADER, to create an audible pedestrian alert system to be used on electric vehicles.
Nissan has partnered with 10 other consortium members to create a next generation pedestrian alert technology which generates a sound targeted to alert pedestrians and other road users. The alert will indicate an electric vehicle (EV) is in close proximity whilst keeping noise pollution minimal.
Growing sales of EVs has led to a debate over the pros and cons of quiet electric vehicles with pedestrian alert technology currently being a topic of interest. The low sound levels generated by EVs have been lauded as a contributor to reduction in noise pollution levels. However, the lack of any noise means that pedestrians could be at risk since there is no audible alert of a vehicle approaching.
The company informs as a leading partner in the eVADER project, which was completed over a period of three years, that it depended on its EV expertise to integrate the various technologies provided by the consortium members into a demonstration vehicle. Nissan ensured that the sounds created were clearly audible, whilst having minimal impact on ambient noise levels.
The sound created had to be directionally beamed at targeted pedestrians, keeping annoyance levels to a minimum. Loud sirens were ruled out at an early stage, as they caused irritation and in some cases, upsetting other road users.
The culmination of the project resulted in the final version of the system featuring a camera in the windscreen, able to detect pedestrians and other road users. Upon detection, six loudspeakers directionally beam sound at the target pedestrian alerting them of the approaching EV. The sound is five decibels lower when compared to the sound created by a conventional petrol or diesel engine.
Nissan also built this safety system into a Nissan Leaf for real-life trials. The vehicle was used to demonstrate the completed alert system at the concluding event held in Barcelona in December 2014. The company claims the system was well-received by the visually-impaired community.
More information is available in the press release embedded below the image gallery.