Future electric cars to have downloadable engine noises?

Electric vehicles to offer artificial sounds in order to aid pedestrian safety and awareness

With electric cars set to become an increasingly common sight on roads, experts have suggested downloadable noises will replace silent engines

Car manufacturers could introduce artificial and downloadable noises to future electric cars in a bid to counteract the near silent electric engines and make pedestrians better aware of their presence, industry experts have said.

Speaking exclusively with T3 ahead of the UK launch of the Vauxhall Ampera, the first range extending electric car, Peter Stoker, head of Special Vehicle Engineering at Vauxhall, has suggested that in the near future vehicle owners will be able to download sounds for their cars as easily as past mobile phone ringtones.

Talking about the possibility of artificial engine noises being brought to electric cars to improve pedestrian safety Stoker said: “one option might be to open it up and have downloadable sounds.”

He added: “One day you might want to have a nice V12, the next you might want to have the Starship Enterprise. This sort of ability to slightly modify the car in how it appears or how it sounds, I think that has got some great potential going forward.”

Not limiting the future noise of the road to novelty downloads Stoker has suggested that car manufacturers could soon have their own, unique branded sounds for their vehicles that ignite as much brand awareness as their already iconic badges.

“You can make them all sound the same but then if you look forward 20 or 30 years to an electric city of cars going round and the traffic noise would be very different to what we hear today with lots of beeping. Each individual car manufacturer could well develop a brand sound so pedestrians would know ‘oh, that’s a so-and-so coming towards me.’”

What noise or sound effects would you assign to your electric car? Would you go for the traditional combustion engine audio or something a little difference? Let us know via the T3 Twitter and Facebook feeds.