As of July 2019 all newly registered electric vehicles must produce an artificial driving sound. The ID.3’s sound design was presented at the DRIVE. Forum in Berlin as part of the Future Sounds event. The almost silent, electric drive offers great potential for brand-specific sound design that not only draws attention to the car, but also to the brand. Consequently, Volkswagen-branded electric vehicles could soon be recognisable by their sound.
As electric vehicles are almost silent at low speeds, the accident risk for pedestrians and cyclists particularly increases in inner-city traffic. For this reason, ID. family models will, in the future, use an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) to generate an artificial driving sound – when moving off; at speeds up to 30 km/h; and when reversing.
The AVAS in the ID.3 is audible on the inside and outside of the vehicle up to 30 km/h. Inside the vehicle, different stages of the driving sound are always audible based on speed and accelerator pedal position. Beyond this speed, the vehicle’s rolling resistance and driving noise become more prominent.
The Volkswagen brand’s new driving sound was developed as part of a collaboration with the composer and music producer Leslie Mandoki. The multi-layered audio tracks express the speed and dynamism of e-mobility. “An electric vehicle’s sound defines its identity. The sound should be confident and likeable. It may well sound futuristic and must also impress with its unique character,” Dr. Frank Welsch explained as the Chief Development Officer of Volkswagen Passenger Cars.
In addition to the safety aspect at low speeds, the sound of an electric vehicle is particularly vital. “Thanks to their sound, electric vehicles are given their own voice that we can design ourselves regardless of mechanical sounds,” Klaus Bischoff explained as the Head of Design Volkswagen Brand. “The ID.3 radiates safety and the promise of effortless mobility: It will take us everywhere.”