The U.S. Department of Transport (DoT) recently decreed that every one hybrid and electric vehicles should make a noise to protect pedestrians, particularly folks who are blind or have limited vision. rather than simply saying, “okay, we’re adding a noise to our EVs, you guys,” Nisan created a big production about releasing its “song,” even giving it a name. “‘Canto’ has been developed to assist with pedestrian safety, as well as to give … a sound that’s energizing and confident,” the corporate aforesaid in a press release.
The sound changes tone and pitch when the vehicle speeds up and slows down, and is activated at speeds of around twelve to nineteen mph. In the US, the standard is 30 km/h (19 mph), a rule the DoT said “will help prevent about 2,400 pedestrian injuries every year once all hybrids [sold in the US] are properly equipped.” Nisan says its own sound is also made to “enrich the aural environment of a typical city street” and be clearly audible, but not distressing to city residents or vehicle occupants.
It adds that “Canto” comes from Latin and means that “I sing,” adding that it’s still subject to change. To me, the harmonic tone (below) sounds like a cross between an orchestra warming up and THX’s “the audience is listening” theater sound trailer. If you are crossing the street once one of its future vehicles shows up (the eV above is that the Leaf Nismo concept), it’s certain to make your activities feel more dramatic, anyway.
NISSAN PRESS RELEASES
TOKYO (Oct. 25, 2017) – Not only did Nissan debut a new concept vehicle at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show – it also surprised the crowd with the introduction of “Canto,” the future sound of Nissan’s electrified vehicles.
“An important element of Nissan Intelligent Mobility is how the vehicle integrates with society, and a crucial component of that is sound,” said Daniele Schillaci, executive vice president for global marketing and sales, zero-emission vehicles and the battery business. “‘Canto’ has been developed to help with pedestrian safety, as well as to provide a distinct Nissan sound – one that is energizing and confident, authentic to our brand and representing our unique position in the electrified marketplace.”
“Canto” is derived from Latin for “I sing.” The sound varies in tone and pitch depending on whether the vehicle is accelerating, decelerating or backing up. The sound is activated at speeds of up to 20 to 30 kph, depending on marketplace requirements.
Nissan created “Canto” with the goal of developing an alert sound as the priority. However, it is also designed to enrich the aural environment of the typical city street with a distinct Nissan flair. The level of the sound will be clearly audible, without being overly disturbing to pedestrians, residents and passengers.
Nissan has been a pioneer in the vehicle sound arena since 2010, with its “Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians” system.
Nissan Intelligent Mobility is the company’s approach to changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated with society.