Jaguar adds sound to electric vehicle silence

Jaguar I Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System

Jaguar’s Audible Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) will make its first appearance in the I-PACE, eliminating problems for vulnerable road users of the silent running of the vehicle’s electric motor at low speeds.

As Nissan did with its Canto system, this will enable the I-PACE, and subsequent Jaguar electric vehicles to not only be safer, but also to meet the upcoming global legislation regarding sound and electric vehicles. This system has been engineered to exceed the 56dB minimum required by forthcoming July 2019 European legislation for all new electric vehicles, thus far the strictest such standard in the world.

Jaguar worked on the AVAS for four years, together with the UK organisation, Guide Dogs for the Blind.

‘The absence of traditional engine noise from electric vehicles creates a problem for vulnerable pedestrians, such as the blind or visually impaired. This is especially true at low speeds in town centres and car parks. We developed the Audible Vehicle Alert System for the I-PACE to ensure the safety of all road users,’ said Iain Suffield, Jaguar NVH Technical Specialist.

‘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.’

Sound alteration

The AVAS sound emanates from a speaker located behind the front grille of the Jaguar I-PACE. For safety’s sake, the system is permanently engaged, the sound cannot be switched off. The sound increases in volume as the vehicle speed increases, and the sound changes slightly when the vehicle changes direction.

At speeds above 20 kilometres per hour the AVAS sound isn’t required, as at that speed noise from the tyres and wind is sufficient for road users to be aware of the vehicle.

Guide Dogs for the Blind’s advocacy

John Welsman, Policy Business Partner (Travel & Mobility), Guide Dogs for the Blind, said: ‘Guide Dogs campaigned hard to make it compulsory for quiet vehicles to have sound generating systems built-in and turned on, including when the vehicle is stationary at a pedestrian crossing. We applaud Jaguar for being the first to launch an EV which meets standards before the new legislation even comes in and look forward to working with the company more in the future.’

To the video …

Hear — and see — the Jaguar I-PACE and its Audible Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) in action in this short video.

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