VOICE offers a different perspective on traffic noise pollution. The most noise from traffic in the city comes from the engine, which emits the dominant sound frequencies from speeds between zero and sixty kilometres per hour. With electronic mobility on its way this can change. But to esure pedestrian safety, many countries have decided to pass laws which will force manufacturers to install sound systems into the electronic cars. The systems are based on traffic noise as it is today. They emit noises similar to combustion engines which are mostly linked to the car's acceleration.
With VOICE noise becomes sound. Based on an in-depth research, VOICE was developed as an adaptive system, which could bring silence to our cities, while even improving on pedestrian safety.
By analyzing the human perception of sound and most importantly the difference between noise and sound, it became imminent, that the sound electronic vehicles should emit has to be seen as communication, since it is not anymore an unavoidable set of frequencies released through a combustion inside the cylinders.
This sound has to be designed to communicate the most important informations pedestrians need to know about approaching vehicles, and also based on the architecture of the human hearing sense.
Besides using specific sounds and frequencies to carry specific information, such as speed or steering. VOICE comprises an adaptive approach. By adapting to traffic situations, most of the traffic noise can be erased. The necessary information is already collected on board today, such as distance to the cars in front or behind, speed, environment through GPS location, intention of turning. Machine learning technology makes it feasible to create a subtle yet precise language to communicate the accurately predicted driver intent to the right recipients. The concept of using these parameters leads to countless scenarios in which the noise pollution could be decreased dramatically:
- using higher frequencies at night travel less far and won't disturb our sleep. Ultrasonic sound could be used to alert animals.
- dynamically modulating different sound patterns creates an emphatic and responsive urban environment in which the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers of electronic vehicles can significantly improved.
- using directional sounds could make cars perceivable even before sight.
- and could also be used to only make cars heard on ground level, and only in front of the emitting vehicle.
- reducing the emitted sounds if it overlaps with the sound of others, since the information (ie. cars waiting at traffic stop) is already transported.