Over the next two years, the U.S. and Europe will require all new electric and hybrid vehicles to make sounds at low speeds to let pedestrians know what the sound should look like, but automakers and regulators have yet to determine what that sound should look like, foreign media reported. Nissan thinks cars should “sing”, while other manufacturers think the sound should be customizable. Now Ayax, an independent Toyota automaker and dealer in Uruguay, has a more crazy idea: to make a car sound that stimulates plants to absorb nutrients and grow.
The idea is that the car company is working with digital innovation company The Electric Factory, a professional sound designer and a “smart city expert.” Unfortunately, Ayax didn’t reveal much detail on the project’s website, only that the project was called Hy (the abbreviation for harmony). However, according to an accompanying press release, they chose a certain bandwidth and frequency range, which is estimated to improve plant growth, biomass, pores (which facilitate water absorption and light utilization) and support cell division, fluid splots in cell walls, and protective enzymes.
It may be an odd idea, but Alejandro Curcio, Ayax’s president, sees it as an opportunity for his company and his country. Curcio said the Japanese carmaker, the first company to assemble Toyota Hilux pickup trucks in Latin America in the 20th century, continued to use Uruguay as a testing ground for new ideas.
While there is some evidence that acoustics have an effect on plant growth, the big changes pursued by Project Hy are sound-deep, after all, the organization said in a press release that the project was “the first in the world to save the planet through sonic solutions.” To reach the scale needed to support this grand announcement, it will require a lot more work than the initial sound development.