HARMAN, the global leading supplier of premium audio and infotainment systems, announced today the results of a survey it commissioned to help identify the types of sounds consumers want future electric cars to make.
The majority of respondents want electric cars to sound like their current cars, consumers in the survey said they expect that car manufacturers will have a distinctive sound for each auto brand, suggesting opportunities for signature sounds and differentiation that isn’t available today. This study will be used to help car makers define the type and level of sound for electric vehicles, supporting an increased focus on sensory cues as a way to subconsciously communicate their brands while still improving safety.
Although a majority of respondents want the sound of a conventional car, family car drivers suggest that quieter, smoother, humming sounds are appropriate for electric vehicles. Female respondents and families are significantly more likely to want quieter / less powerful sounds compared to males. And while electric cars don’t typically use conventional gearboxes that need shifting, consumers want the sound linked to acceleration. Audible gear shift points in these vehicles will become a particularly desirable feature for sports car owners keen to hear a more ‘authentic’ sound.
I’m not sure if i like the idea of the sounds being ‘branded’. I think if the purpose of the noise is to increase safety then the number criteria for the noise should be that it is easy to hear and locate the direction that it is coming from. If we allow the noises to be specific to the brand of vehicle we have already missed the point.