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[Updated w/ Video] Prius get a noisemaker option; Sounds like a spaceship

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Danny, Aug 24, 2010.

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  1. Danny

    Danny Admin/Founder Staff Member

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    It doesn't take much searching in the PriusChat forums to get an idea of how Prius owners feel about taking their silent "stealth" mode and turning it into a hybrid ice cream truck
    , and big names in the EV scene such as Chelsea Sexton have weighed in on the What Drives Us podcast regarding the issue. All of that feedback has led us to an announcement by Toyota introducing an "Approaching Vehicle Audible System" for the 3rd Generation Prius.
    For $150, Prius owners will be able to add a speaker system that goes under the hood of the 3G Prius and produces a bizarre sound that sounds like it was taken from a B-level horror movie. Its use is voluntary in Japan, where it will first be marketed starting August 30th. The noisemaker is "designed to meet new Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism guidelines for hybrid and other near-silent vehicles." Toyota is considering whether they will offer the system in the US at a later date.
    According to the Toyota press release, "TMC also plans other versions of the device for use in gasoline-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles as well as fuel-cell hybrid vehicles planned for launch."
    Video below. Press release after that.
    TMC to Sell Approaching Vehicle Audible System for 'Prius'
    Toyota City, Japan, August 24, 2010—Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that, in line with its efforts to ensure an ever-safer traffic environment, it will begin sales on August 30 of an onboard device designed to alert pedestrians and others audibly to the presence of a quiet vehicle, such as a gasoline-electric hybrid. The device will be available nationwide through authorized Toyota dealers and Toyota genuine parts & accessories distributors for retrofitting on the third-generation "Prius" gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle.

    The onboard device automatically emits a synthesized sound of an electric motor when the Prius is operating as an electric vehicle at speeds up to approximately 25 km/h. The sound—aimed to alert but not annoy—rises and falls in pitch relative to the vehicle's speed, thus helping indicate the vehicle's proximity and movement.

    The device is designed to meet new Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism guidelines* for hybrid and other near-silent vehicles.

    TMC also plans other versions of the device for use in gasoline-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles as well as fuel-cell hybrid vehicles planned for launch.


    Onboard approaching vehicle audible system details
    Price Compatible vehicle
    models Function
    12,600 yen
    (Includes consumption tax; does not include installation charge or other incidental fees) Third-generation Prius Emits a synthesized sound of an electric motor to alert pedestrians and others to the presence of a quiet vehicle.
    *Issued in January 2010 and based on assessments from the Committee for the Consideration of Countermeasures Regarding Quiet Hybrid and Other Vehicles, in which TMC participated as a member of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. The committee began assessing possible countermeasures in July 2009, after hearing concerns of drivers and other people about gasoline-electric hybrids and electric vehicles operating in near silence.
    1 person likes this.
  2. Ryanpl

    Ryanpl New Member

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    Re: Prius get a noisemaker option; Sounds like a spaceship

    Breathing a sigh of relief, no spaceship option for my G2 Prius.
  3. Rae Vynn

    Rae Vynn Watch out, I have a degree in BS!

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    It sounds kinda cute...
  4. Bob64

    Bob64 Sapphire of the Blue Sky

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    This is just asking to be modded.

    Eg: replace the sound with tank tread squealing and squeaking
    The hum of a warp core?
    The Screech of a TIE fighter?
    3 people like this.
  5. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I know I'm probably in the super minority.
    But I like it.

    It's kind of cool. As long as I had the option of turning it off? I'd have no problem. I want the option of overriding the Sound FX's and using the speaker as an external PA system like a 1970's Mr. Microphone.
    2 people like this.
  6. teeasal

    teeasal New Member

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  7. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    I really really like the idea of the tank sound. Would love to see the look on peoples faces when they turn round and just see me in my Prius instead of a Challenger Tank! :D
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  8. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    I really like this haha, it'll be so fun to mess around with people, bystanders will turn their heads and be like "WTF??" and I'll be like that's right, "PRIUS *****ES!!" I like the fact that you can turn it on and off even more. But remember, this is for JAPAN.

    Leave it up to the U.S. version to make it mandatory with no option to turn off.

    Love the TIE fighter idea. Just hope the US model has that on/off switch.
  9. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    There is a potential market for different sounds, just look at the ring tone market.:cool:

    This one is nice and subtle.

    Watermarked tank sound effect from www.audiosparx.com
  10. SlowTurd

    SlowTurd I LIKE PRIUS'S

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  11. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    SlowTurd, that is cool man! Now all I need them to do is take off the wheels and make it hover. Then we'll be in serious business.
  12. SlowTurd

    SlowTurd I LIKE PRIUS'S

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    little danny: mommy! mommy! i hear the ice cream truck.
    mom: here's $2 danny

    <little danny runs out>

    little danny: OH CRAP! another prius! i'll never buy one of those


    prius owner::whoo::whoo::pound::pound::rockon::p
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  13. rudiger

    rudiger Active Member

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    The Germans attached a siren to the Stuka bomber in WW2 that made a loud sound when it went into a dive. If I could get a noisemaker for my Prius that sounded like that, I might go for it.
  14. dsharp88

    dsharp88 New Member

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    Good God, that's irritating!
  15. Bob64

    Bob64 Sapphire of the Blue Sky

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    Sigh. Mebbie I'll just settle for the poor man's noisemaker's option: Cranking a loop of "ghost ride it" with my windows down.
  16. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Well Seasoned Member

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    Pedestrian traffic on narrow streets like they showed in the video are a much bigger issue in Japan - in fact the street they used must have been blocked off for filming it looked so empty. Best part of the video was the corner at the end - notice the 45deg cut off on the property wall to allow turning room? That's how narrow things get. Big convex mirrors at intersections are common as well, to improve visibility around corners where walls are high, streets narrow, sidewalks non-existent and pedestrians everywhere.

    They did mention in the video that it is audible but not loud within the cabin, which is good. Also, not sure if it was obvious, but if you turn off the noisemaker it just defaults back to on next time you power off/on the car.

    Great mod option if people want it here, but I wouldn't want to see it required.

    - D
  17. LOJaC

    LOJaC New Member

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    Some prius-tone suggestions:


    • Jetsons flying car
    • Sonar ping
    • Jaws shark theme

    I really like the tank suggestion though.
  18. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    In reality, a noise maker becomes a legal defense in a pedestrian accident. Not quite a 'license to kill,' it simply carries on today's practices of ordinary, engine equipped vehicles. They kill and a noise maker equipped hybrid is no less dangerous at the gas equivalent.

    BTW, is this a noise maker for all Toyota hybrids or just the Prius?

    Bob Wilson
  19. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Of course not Bob ... just the hybrids that outsell GM hybrids 20 to 1. Oh, wait, that's all of 'em.
    ;)
  20. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    They should make it sound like a 1960s muscle car idling.

    Now, I would buy that.
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