Electric Vehicle Detectability: a Methods-Based Approach to Assess Artificial Noise Impact on the Ability of Pedestrians to Safely Detect Approaching Electric Vehicles
Hybrid and electric vehicles (HVs and EVs) have demonstrated low noise levels relative to their Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) counterparts, particularly at low speeds. As the number of HVs/EVs on the road increases, so does the need for data quantifying auditory detectability by pedestrians; in particular, those who are vision impaired. Manufacturers have started implementing additive noise solutions designed to increase vehicle detectability while in electric mode and/or when traveling below a certain speed. A detailed description of the real-time acoustic measurement system, the corresponding vehicular data, development of an immersive noise field, and experimental methods pertaining to a recent evaluation of candidate vehicles is provided herein. Listener testing was completed by 24 legally blind test subjects for four vehicle types: an EV and HV with different additive noise approaches, an EV with no additive noise, and a traditional ICE vehicle.