As automakers shift to electrifying vehicles to comply with stricter emissions regulations, many have started collaborating with game and movie music composers in search of a signature track. which can replace engine sounds.
Since electrified cars using engines are quieter than vehicles with internal combustion engines, drivers tend to pay more attention to the interior sounds of EVs and gasoline-electric hybrids, according to automakers.
Nissan Motor Co. and a research unit of the large entertainment company Bandai Namco Holdings Inc., which produces various games from the series “Pac-Man” to “Mobile Suit Gundam”, have developed sound effects such as to inform people. drivers to wear seat belts and a door is not closed.
Engineers from Nissan Motor Co. stand around its Rogue sport utility vehicle, equipped with new sound effects to advise drivers to wear their seat belts and that a door is not closed. (Photo courtesy of Nissan Motor Co.) (Kyodo)
The sounds are being introduced in new models of its Note compact car in Japan as well as Rogue and Pathfinder sport utility vehicles in the US and Qashqai in Europe which have been on sale since the fall of last year.
The collaboration reflects knowledge accumulated in the video game industry on how to accurately convey needed information and alert a change in situation, the companies said.
In five years of trial and error, companies have tried various scale and tempo models and have sought their ideal sound – sophisticated, comfortable to hear, and not alarming like a buzzer.
âWe removed any excessive expression and created an easy-to-hear sound,â said Minamo Takahashi, sound director at Bandai Namco Research Inc.
Hiroyuki Suzuki, Nissan chief engineer for on-board information sound design, said: âThe last note now gives a modern feel with contemporary sound. “
Some other automakers attempt to set their vehicles apart by creating driving sounds comparable to the ignition and acceleration of gasoline engines.
Germany’s BMW AG called on Oscar-winning Hans Zimmer, who composed the soundtracks for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, to develop sounds suitable for their electric vehicles. In Japan, the new acoustic features will be available on its iX SUV models from this fall.
Toyota Motor Corp. created artificial sounds for acceleration, when she redesigned her Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in December. The change in sound in response to braking and acceleration helps the driver intuitively understand the condition of the car, the company said.
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