What should an electric car sound like?

From Vox.

The driving sounds of EVs, explained by the designers who make them

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For over a century, the internal combustion engine powered vehicles with an intricate combination of moving parts and tiny explosions. That combustion process inevitably made noise, and that noise came to define the background soundscape of our roads, cities, and day-to-day life. But as hybrids and EVs became increasingly mainstream — and more of their near-silent electric motors filled the streets — it became clear that silent vehicles didn’t fit in the ecosystem we’d built around cars.

Spearheaded by associations of the blind and visually impaired, legislation eventually began to require electric vehicles to emit an artificial engine noise out of hidden external speakers. These hidden speaker systems, called “Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems” — or AVAS — had to meet certain sonic criteria. But they were also a blank slate for sound designers to decide how the cars of the future should sound.

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