Thats the good news. The bad news is that Nissan engineers have possibly discovered the worst sound on earth. (Listen and watch the LEAF squealing at the bottom of the thread)
Nissan has dubbed this sound as the “”Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians” system, I’m going to call it the “may harm nearby aquatic wildlife sound.” This audible warning (to never again go out into public) will debut this fall in Japan on the Nissan Fuga, which is a hybrid.
Official description of the sound from Nissan – “The system makes it easy for those outside to hear the vehicle approaching, but the sounds do not distract the driver and passengers inside. Thus, the needs of pedestrian safety, as well as driver and passenger comfort, are met. The sound system is the first of its type to be introduced by an automaker.”
“The sine-wave sound system sweeps from 2.5kHz at the high end to a low of 600Hz, an easily audible range across age groups. Nissan worked to avoid a sound range that would add unnecessary noise to the environment (around 1,000Hz).”
Depending on the speed and status (accelerating or decelerating) of Nissan LEAF, the sound system will make sweeping, high-low sounds. For instance, when Nissan LEAF is started, the sound will be louder, so a visually impaired person would be aware that a nearby car was beginning operations. And when a car is in reverse, the system will generate an intermittent sound. The sound system ceases operation when Nissan LEAF tops 30km/h and enters a sound range where regular road noise is high. It engages again as Nissan LEAF slows to under 25km/h.
The system is controlled through a computer and synthesizer in the dash panel, and the sound is delivered through a speaker in the engine compartment. (Fortunately) a switch inside the vehicle can turn off sounds temporarily. The system automatically resets to “On” at the next ignition cycle.
Forward Sound Video:
Backwards Sound Video:
Info: Nissan Media