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Sound Generators Warn Pedestrians Of Hybrid And Electric Vehicles - Web Exclusive

The system provides a frequency range of 500Hz to 10KHz and can reproduce melodies that represent the identity of individual vehicle manufacturers.

Feb 22, 2011

With the launch of two affordable vehicle sound generators, Delphi Automotive hopes to help vehicle manufacturers warn pedestrians of approaching hybrid and electric vehicles.

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Designed to comply with legislation expected to mandate minimum sound levels for both hybrid and electric vehicles, the sounders are not only robust, but compact, light weight and low cost. The single-box solutions are lead-free, waterproof and temperature resistant. Using expertise gained from vehicle alarm systems, Delphi developed two sound generators – called sounders – that enable pedestrians to detect nearby hybrid and electric vehicles which are otherwise almost silent.

The Delphi electronic sounder system is approximately three times lighter than a conventional multi-box system and uses 90 percent less power, making it the most environmentally-friendly solution available. The system provides a frequency range of 500Hz to 10KHz and can reproduce melodies that represent the identity of individual vehicle manufacturers.

For applications requiring higher quality sound, Delphi has developed a high-fidelity sounder that uses a cone speaker activated by a lightweight magnet to extend the base range to 150Hz. The magnet-based system weighs 66 percent less than a conventional speaker. Both Delphi systems are robust enough to be mounted under the hood and incorporate a 32-bit microprocessor with flash memory, a link to the vehicle’s data-bus and an audio class-D amplifier.

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The sound generators were designed to warn pedestrians of oncoming hybrid and electric vehicles moving at low speed but they become more valuable when integrated with other vehicle systems. For instance, using unique sounds, the system can remind a driver that the battery needs to be charged, confirm a charging sequence is in progress or notify the driver when the charge is complete, for example.

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