Nissan, like many other automotive manufacturers, is currently trying to solve a major side-effect that comes with creating an electric car: Silence.
With no combustion engine these cars are whisper quiet, and while that might be great for drivers it presents a serious problem for pedestrians who are relying on sight and sound to know if there’s a car coming.
To combat this Nissan has revealed a completely artificial sound that will play whenever the car is driving to alert people of its presence.
It’s called ‘Canto’ and you can listen to it below:
The name ‘Canto’ derives from the Latin for ‘I sing’ and the sound has been designed to change pitch depending on whether you’re increasing speed or decreasing speed.
It’s played out using speakers that will be integrated into the car’s exterior body and will only be activated at speeds above 20/30km per hour depending on regional requirements.
“An important element of Nissan Intelligent Mobility is how the vehicle integrates with society, and a crucial component of that is sound,” said Daniele Schillaci, VP for marketing and sales for Nissan’s electric division.
Nissan says that the sound will be introduced on its future electric vehicles which means that from now on, what you’re listening to is the sound of a new Nissan car.
″‘Canto’ has been developed to help with pedestrian safety,” says Schillaci. “As well as to provide a distinct Nissan sound – one that is energizing and confident, authentic to our brand and representing our unique position in the electrified marketplace.”
This isn’t the first time a car company has experimented with artificial sounds, the BMW i8 supercar actually includes an artificial sound system both inside and out that increases the engine roar both to make it feel more exhilarating to drive but also to make pedestrians aware of it approaching.