With no engine sound, the electric Jaguar I-PACE required a new way to warn blind, visually impaired and other vulnerable road users of its approach at low speed.
Jaguar has designed a unique Audible Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) for its first electric vehicle – developing a sound that can be heard at speeds up to 20km/h and exceeds the 56dB(A) minimum required by forthcoming European legislation for all new electric vehicles (EVs) from July 2019.
The I-PACE’s sound was tested by members of Guide Dogs for the Blind, the UK’s leading charity for people affected by sight loss, as part of the testing undertaken by Jaguar. It also marks the start of an on-going relationship between the two organisations.
Jaguar’s engineers worked for four years to develop a soundtrack that is audible yet discreet and cannot be heard from inside the vehicle. Initial attempts to create a noise inspired by the sound of sci-fi spacecraft had to be shelved after pedestrians reacted by looking up to the sky, rather than at the road, as the vehicle approached.