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THOR’s adaptive AVAS: matching sound with safety

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A report that THOR AVAS made at the prestigious congresses of scientists and representatives of acoustics of the world – InterNoise calls for electric vehicles to be installed with an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) to increase the safety of users and pedestrians.

AVAS is an accessory that can be added to any vehicle to stimulate sounds as the vehicle moves and alert road users to any danger.

THOR AVAS is a city transport solution designed to uphold the reduced audibility of electric vehicles whilst also addressing various national standards which carry out technical regulations to ensure the safety of these vehicles.

Tim Maksimenko, Head of the AVAS department at THOR, told Zag Daily: “When we created the AVAS project, we drew on our company’s experience in creating sounds for electronic exhaust, where we recorded the sounds of real supercars. This unique principle helped us further understand how to make sounds for electric vehicles so that they are more pleasant.”

The study observed the subjective acoustic perceptibility of silent electric vehicles by pedestrians. To do this, THOR measured the time it took for pedestrians to hear different approaching vehicles including: a car, an electric car, an e-scooter, and an e-moped.

One key finding is that a car with an internal combustion engine is heard much earlier than an electric car at the same speed. Additionally, an electric scooter moving at a higher speed was not heard until the vehicle reached the pedestrian.

With electric scooters often reaching speeds of more than 25 kilometres per hour in urban cities, their reduced audibility increases the likelihood of accidents and collisions.

THOR offers an adaptive principle of AVAS operations which uses several layers of sounds to vary depending on the speed, the time of day, and the geolocation zone of the vehicle. From a distance of several metres, the goal of the system is to alert all relevant pedestrians and other road users of the approaching electric vehicle within five seconds.

The alerting system matches the frequencies naturally occurring in the urban landscape. By doing so, THOR Avas upholds the appeal of the quiet nature of electric vehicles and avoids adding to the overwhelming noise of the city. 

“The sound of the system must meet the main mission of the project – to create a harmonious sound of the cities of the future and meet the basic principles of acoustic ecology,” said Maksimenko.

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