JAGUAR engineers have developed an audible alert system to warn vulnerable and at-risk pedestrians about the silent car’s approach.
Called Audible Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) the system is intend to help warn blind, visually impaired and other vulnerable road users of the I-Pace’s approach at low speed in urban areas.
This feature is in advance of forthcoming European legislation for new electric vehicles and Plug-in Electric Hybrids to have July 2019.
Jaguar tested the I-Pace’s sound with members of Guide Dogs for the Blind and have developed a soundtrack that is audible but cannot be heard from inside the vehicle.
Initial attempts to create a noise inspired by the sound of sci-fi spacecraft had to be shelved after pedestrians reacted by looking up to the sky, rather than at the road, as the vehicle approached.
The alert increases in pitch and volume in line with the speed of the vehicle and, when in reverse, is accompanied by an additional tone that indicates the change in direction. AVAS is not required at higher speeds as there is sufficient wind and tyre noise for pedestrians to hear the zero-emissions vehicle approaching.
Iain Suffield, Jaguar NVH Technical Specialist, said:
“We developed the Audible Vehicle Alert System for the I-Pace to ensure the safety of all road users. Our potentially life-saving technology cannot be switched off and as the leading charity for people with sight loss, we are pleased to have the support of Guide Dogs to ensure real people are at the heart of our product testing.”