I forgot where I came across a video about the new electric Audi cars and the sounds. Now I do think the sounds they make for the vehicles are really cool and interesting. But why the constant push to have a car "make" sound. Combustion vehicles generate sound due to the mechanics of the system. But the electric cars are broadcasting additional sound via on board speakers. It seems the world is locked into this perpetual noise pollution system. What does everyone think about this? I like the silence, the sound of nature, it is relaxing and refreshing.

2 Answers 2


Part of the reason they're adding sound is for public safety.


"at speeds under 35 mph, hybrids and electric cars are 37 percent more likely to hit pedestrians and 66 percent more likely to hit cyclists than normal gas-guzzling machines" All due to their lack of sound. I know I've almost been hit by a hybrid 6-7 years ago. It was coming around a corner and didn't hear it at all as I was crossing the street.

  • exactly! If crossing a quiet street I use my ears as much as my eyes to know if a car is anywhere nearby...
    – user49
    Mar 7, 2013 at 0:49
  • I can see the safety aspect as being viable. But I do know I have almost hit many cyclists because they do not follow the rules of the road. Just because you are cycling does not give immunity to basic traffic laws and practices. Mar 7, 2013 at 14:52
  • @Michael Gilbert. And your point is?
    – Stelios
    Mar 9, 2013 at 4:11

Because it sells cars?

Isn't the whole point of the "designed" car engine sounds to give a more tailored driving experience that feels better for the car buyer/driver, even though it doesn't necessarily serve a "real" function (I could be wrong about how "useful" this technology is though). Specifically in electric cars I've read that car buyers consider strange a car "that doesn't make any noise", so in that case it just answers to the demand where a car has to make some noise.

  • This is why: mercatus.org/publication/… , nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/… pre-emptively preparing for regulations, although I'm sure it offers an opportunity to give a car a custom signature quality to sell them. But above is the primary reason why. I'd like to think I have decent ears and I've almost been hit by hybrids more times than is comforting Mar 6, 2013 at 23:35

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