Starting next year, some of London’s electric buses will make artificial noiseating at low speeds, creating a specific sound for them to be an environmental pleasure for the ears. The artificial noise was produced by Zelig Sound, which has been working with Transport for London for the past year to produce audio.
Artificial noise was introduced in response to a new EU law. The law states that all electric vehicles will eventually need to produce artificial noise at low speeds to compensate for the lack of noise in internal engines. If people can’t hear the vehicle, they may not be aware of it, and research shows that pedestrians are therefore more likely to be hit by an electric or hybrid vehicle. In the EUROPEAN Union, regulations mean that a 56 dB sound will be required when the vehicle is travelling at a speed of less than 20 km/h.
Transport for London is gradually introducing new bus artificial noise as artificial noise will not have to be converted to older electric vehicles until 2021. Starting in January, the city’s 100 route will receive new sounds within six months and then expand to the C10 and P5 routes later this year. Its launch comes after a live trial at Tottenham Hotspur, the effectiveness of which has been tested in real-world pedestrians. During the creation process, organizations representing the visually impaired, bicycle sandand and environmental groups were also consulted.
There are currently about 8,000 iconic red buses in London, but only 200 are electric.