Silent electric trucks, just like passengers cars and vans could be a road safety risk and therefore, starting from the 1st July 2021 all vehicles must produce an artificial sound at low speeds ( 12mph) to help prevent potential accidents. Of course, a new sound offers the opportunity for manufacturers to get their creative juices going – and Volvo trucks are no exception!
Sounds different in July
To improve safety, Volvo Trucks has developed an unique acoustic alert system for its electric truck models and its designed to be pleasant and unobtrusive, both for the driver and others close by. Of course the whole idea is to increase safety by making pedestrians, cyclists and other road users aware of approaching trucks, which would otherwise be nearly silent. The sound level required depends on the speed and gets higher as it increases until it reaches the maximum speed of 12 mph where it should be at a minimum of 56 decibels.
If the vehicle is too quiet, an external acoustic vehicle alerting system (AVAS) must be added so to meet the new requirements, and at the same time maintain the benefits of lower noise levels that come with electric vehicles, Volvo Trucks has developed a unique set of premium sounds for its electric models.
“We truly welcome this new legislation. From when we were children, we have learnt to rely not only on what we see, but also what we hear in traffic – sometimes so much so that people don’t even look before crossing a street! With our new alert system, we want to help ensure that pedestrians and cyclists notice when they are close to our electric trucks,” explains Anna Wrige Berling, Traffic and Product Safety Director at Volvo Trucks.
Four different sounds
The range of sounds are the result of thorough research and testing by the Volvo Group’s own
acoustics experts and will ensure the electric models are still much quieter than conventional trucks. Their are four sounds informing people close by about what the truck is doing: moving forward, idling, reversing, etc. The sounds will vary in intensity, based on truck speed and will shift in frequency during acceleration and deceleration.
“We are particularly proud to have developed high quality, premium sounds that are noticeable enough to warn people close to the truck, and yet still pleasant for the driver and other road users says Wrige Berling. “The sounds are designed to not penetrate through walls. Our electric trucks will still allow for quiet night-time deliveries and contribute to better working conditions for the drivers and a quieter, cleaner environment.”