Oct 28

The Sound of the Chevy Volt

 

An issue often debated when it comes to electric cars is what sound should they make. There are indeed legislative efforts underway to ensure EVs make some noise, to protect the visually impaired. Some manufacturers such as Fisker have gone so far as to engineer artificial engine sounds played through external speakers.

We often wonder, exactly what sound will the Chevy Volt make.

I previously had the chance to ask this question of Frank Weber, who is GM’s E-Flex vehicle line executive.

He went on to describe what the sound will actually be:

“The sound of the car should be highly technical, but should have no relation at all to a combustion engine, it should be highly pleasing, almost imperceptible as to what’s (actually) happening. I always compare the sound you would expect from the Volt is like when on spaceship enterprise you hear the doors close, or use the transporter.  This is the type of character you would expect from power electronics, you cannot hear it, but the car would have its own sounds rather than imitating (a combustion engine)”

I asked whether GM was planning any artificial sounds on the Volt, with respect to the visually impaired.

Frank alerted to that and said “This is a different thing, we have something that’s called a pedestrian friendly alert. You would activate it as a driver. It is more pleasing (than a horn) and you would activate it much like you would your high-beam.  This is how you would use it below 25 miles per hour.”

“The other thing that you have to do since the car is quiet, when you start it, today the experience today of turning on a conventional car is an important experience when it provides confidence power feedback, many things are happening psychologically in this moment.  What we definitely will do is considering some of the competitor hybrids today are weak in that regard, is we will provide very clear and intuitive feedback from the car telling you what state it is in.”

“I can’t tell you more about it but it is in the process of being worked out.”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 28th, 2008 at 6:14 am and is filed under Engineering, Features, Original GM-Volt Interviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 295


  1. 1
    J Man

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (6:20 am)

    It can make a farting noise for all I care as long as it does as it is supposed to when it comes to performance and electrical range


  2. 2
    nuclearboy

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (6:29 am)

    As far as noise goes, the cities who are worried about this issue should make the street slightly rough and then the tire noise will be sufficient to alert the blind. I was just in Amsterdam and the bikes are flying around everywhere (silently). The brick bike paths solve this issue because you can here the tire noise on these bike roads and that helps you avoid stepping out in front of a bike. This would be one solution for the cities.

    This will be unnecesary outside of congested areas where the blind should not be crossing highways without some other type of support.

    I like the idea of feedback from the car when it starts. I assume there will be some type of animated graphics on the screens letting you know the Volt if coming up properly and is ready to roll.


  3. 3
    Ignatius

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (6:32 am)

    Thing is, noise or not, someone who is visually impaired may or may not walk out in front of your car. Audio cues won’t help when someone decides to do what they want to do. Putting out artificial sounds is just annoying and stupid.


  4. 4
    Jim I

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (6:33 am)

    It just goes to show you that the engineers on this project are really thinking about all aspects of this vehicle. It also tells me that the “hard” technical issues must be going pretty well, if they are spending time working on the soft psychological items, like startup feedback to the user and pedestrian friendly alerts……

    The Volt will be a winner.

    Please get it to the market!!!!

    Go GM! Go GM Volt Team!!!

    NPNS


  5. 5
    Bob

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (6:51 am)

    I don’t think any additional noise is necessary — as it is with current cars, when they pass by my suburban home at 20mph I hear the rush of the car displacing the air and the hum of the tires on the asphalt more than I hear the sound of the car anyway. These noises will be no different on the Volt.


  6. 6
    RB

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (6:56 am)

    Frank Weber’s comments were impressive.
    He and the team have thought deeply. I’m looking forward to seeing (hearing) what they have decided to do.

    I think the approach of external sound as directed by the driver is a good one. The start-up feedback is a new thought to me but will be a nice touch.


  7. 7
    Volt T-shirts

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:04 am)

    If the volt turns on in a forest and no legislators are around to hear it does it matter what sound it makes?

    Ok grasshopper back to work!


  8. 8
    Eco

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:08 am)

    “… turning on a conventional car is an important experience when it provides confidence power feedback, many things are happening psychologically in this moment. What we definitely will do is considering some of the competitor hybrids today are weak in that regard, is we will provide very clear and intuitive feedback from the car telling you what state it is in.”

    Never let it be said that GM failed in their ability to know their car-enthusiast customers. Their car-value customers consistently get taken by other brands, but the power-feedback enthusiast…will always have a home with GM.


  9. 9
    kdawg

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:11 am)

    Could the car just send out short range RF signal to a receiver for blind people? That way only they would have to hear the “silent” cars. Just seems like a lot more noise polution, for a few percentage of the population. I was actually looking forward to all electric cars being quieter.


  10. 10
    Lunoir

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:12 am)

    As long as it don’t make the sound of my blender…
    NPNS


  11. 11
    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:21 am)

    I bet in the next 10 years, car companies will have technology that can get rid of almost all of the noise coming from internal combustion engines. The only noise you’d hear coming from cars is the noise that the engineers design into it for safety purposes … for blind people, dogs, little kids, etc.

    This noise canceling technology for airplane engines is going to be awesome. People that live near airports will love it.

    http://gtresearchnews.gatech.edu/newsrelease/engine-noise.htm

    I’m sure they could use this same acoustic technology for cars, motorcycles, lawn mowers, weed eaters and everything else eventually. The world has too much NOISE POLLUTION. If it’s not too expensive to do so, I hope governments start to make laws about engine noise coming from internal combustion engines in the future. I think it would be great to sit in your backyard on a weekend and actually have peace and quiet without lawnmowers, weed eaters, airplanes, and everything else making all that noise.


  12. 12
    TOLeaveThePoliticsForMSNBC

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:25 am)

    As long as it doesn’t make that stupid dump truck backing up noise like my prius does when it’s in reverse.

    Frank Weber has to have been an Engineer. Trying to equate the noises to startrek! classic engineer. Maybe the volt could beam the blind out of the way as they approach the car.


  13. 13
    RB

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:26 am)

    Off-topic: From ASEE First Bell

    “The AP (10/28, Hoffman) reports that Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI) “thinks alternative energy is so important to Michigan’s future that she issued an executive order Monday changing the former Department of Labor and Economic Growth into the Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG)”

    “The Detroit Free Press (10/27, Christoff) noted that … Granholm “said the realigned DELEG will help facilitate development of advance technologies used to develop electric cars and metal fabrication.”
    =========================================

    Labor, electric cars, and metal fabrication — An unusual combination for a state agency but shows their importance to Michigan.


  14. 14
    statik

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:26 am)

    Interesting article thanks. I’m not crazy about artificial sounds either inside or outside, but I like the fact it is something that is actuated by the driver. At least I will be given the option to go ‘cruising’ for blind people wandering about in the middle of my city’s roads.

    “I can’t tell you more about it but it is in the process of being worked out.”—”and if you find out, I will have to kill you!…(whisper)–help get me out of here, I’m trapped in here, they are watching me…”
    —————————————————
    Aside: Frank Weber reminds me of “Exeter. Doug Exeter.”

    http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReviews24/a%20this%20island%20earth%20Faith%20Domergue/new%20this%20island%20earth%20morrow%20THIS_ISLAND_EARTH-10.jpg


  15. 15
    RB

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:28 am)

    #11 GMVoltFan on noise
    ======================

    Most of what you hear, usually, is tire noise not ICE.


  16. 16
    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:29 am)

    I think this one is easy. A quiet car is not the problem. The problem is for someone being able to know it’s present. How about an electric field sensor worn somewhere near the ear of blind persons? Or a simple hearing booster?This will cover issues with hybrids and full EV’s. Charge a $1 “hearing impared” add-on to the sticker price.

    I honestly doubt that even this is needed. The electric car I drive makes a humming “weeeerrrrr” noise on accel and a “ruurrrrrhhh” noise on decel. Our friend 1701a will appreciate the Enterprise warp drive sound on accel.

    =D~


  17. 17
    statik

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:30 am)

    I knew I had heard something about this before, but I thought it was just ‘suspended,’ not canceled. I know this is the first time I personally have actually heard it.

    “General Motors executives last May canceled the CXX program”
    —which is the Tahoe and Suburban

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=134406

    A story in Sunday’s New York Times quotes GM Vice Chairman Robert Lutz, head of product development, as saying: “It would have been very difficult in today’s environment to spend a couple of billion dollars to do a replacement.”

    The next-generation Tahoe and Suburban, along with successors to the Yukon and Escalade, were slated to begin arriving in 2011 as 2012 models, supplier sources told Inside Line. GM originally had earmarked $2 billion to completely redesign the big SUVs and retool its assembly plants to build them.

    It is now unclear whether the current models, which went on sale in early 2006, will continue in production until 2011 or will be phased out earlier. GM has announced plans to close one SUV plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, consolidating SUV production in Arlington, Texas


  18. 18
    Manny

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:34 am)

    For having seen & heard Priuses move on electric only, they are not silent at all. A blind person can very clearly hear them coming. I think this issue is a marketing gimmick.

    Now for something completely different: three electric autos make it to the Forbes auto “most coveted” list (no, not the Volt, that’s what GM gets for choosing a “normal-looking” design).

    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20081027/AUTOS_forbes_coveted_cars_081028/20081028?s_name=Autos


  19. 19
    Bearclaw

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:40 am)

    You can barely hear half of the cars on the road today. This is more pointless legislation if they try to force cars to make noise.

    It sounds like they could let people choose the sound their car makes at start up or turn off like choosing a ringtone for your phone. I would be pissed though if they figure out a way to charge people to change it.

    Flux capacitor on.


  20. 20
    Dave G

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:41 am)

    From the article: “… we have something that’s called a pedestrian friendly alert. You would activate it as a driver. It is more pleasing (than a horn) and you would activate it much like you would your high-beam. This is how you would use it below 25 miles per hour.”
    ————————————————————————————-
    This is excellent news. Just how I imagined it. I’m glad GM got this right.

    CNN did a news article on this issue a few months ago. A kid on a bike was hit by a Prius running at low speed with the gas engine off. The kid said he couldn’t hear the Prius. The CNN article did mention the visually impaired, but the main emphasis was kids on bikes. Many pedestrians are used to gas engine noise signaling an approaching car. This includes runners, people walking dogs, bicyclists, kids walking to/from school, etc.. I think the visually impaired is actually a minor part of this issue.

    Kids on bikes often dart out from behind parked cars. Other pedestrians may appear suddenly as well. So a momentary switch (like a horn) won’t solve this. The driver often can’t react in time. A switch that stays on until you turn it off (like a high beam) and produces a constant noise is much more effective.


  21. 21
    FME III

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:46 am)

    The hell with Star Trek. How about for Gen 2, the car talks to you like the HAL computer in “2001″:

    “Pardon me, Dave, but the fuel in your tank is getting stale, I suggest you make an extended trip to run the engine….”

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    I like the idea of the driver activating the pedestrian-warning alert instead of it making a constant sound as some have proposed elsewhere.


  22. 22
    Freemon Sandlewould

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:51 am)

    Sonofa….liberal creeps are going to force one of my favorite things about the electric car to be ruined……..I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO A QUIET CAR !!!

    Its not even out yet and the libdems are already trying to ruin it!

    I’ll disconnect my noise maker. Sorry. I’ll honk if Stevie Wonder is out walking.


  23. 23
    Rob

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:52 am)

    My ’06 Prius would beep when put into reverse, but only inside the car. I learned how to disable this silly feature, and installed an aftermarket beeper that can be heard outside the vehicle when it’s in reverse.


  24. 24
    Nick D

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:53 am)

    I hope my car is silent. The blind will have to trust that the other 99.8 percent of the population is paying attention.

    Unrelated but I filled my gas tank for $1.99 per gallon this morning in Des Moines, IA. Hope this does not shift the consumers desire for Highly Fuel efficient vehicles like the volt…


  25. 25
    Joe

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:55 am)

    The other day I almost got run over by a Prius in a parking lot for that reason. How come Toyota has done nothing to the Prius thus far? Oh, I forgot, Toyota is immune to any negativity.


  26. 26
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:57 am)

    I just want quiet. Silence is golden.


  27. 27
    TCook

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:01 am)

    In our area, the walk/dont walk sign gives off a beeping noise if it is unsafe to walk across. They do this for the visually impared. All big citys have them, and if there is someone with a visual problem in a town without them, all they have to do is submit a request to their city council for them to put them up. It is something the town has to do to. I really dont think that the car needs to make extra noise.


  28. 28
    Jeremy

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:12 am)

    My volt will be surrounded by a rainbow force field of love that will gently nudge any bystander harmlessly into marshmallow ditches.

    Barring that, I will settle for a blaring air raid siren that is dependent on proximity sensors… something audibly along the lines of the ectomobile from ghostbusters…

    Now on to less important things like availability of both the car itself and financing….


  29. 29
    Cautious Fan

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:15 am)

    I’m not worried about the blind. It’s children that I’m concerned with. Even good kids run into the street sometimes. I’ve also grown accustomed to using my ears to alert me of oncoming cars. Yeah I know I’m supposed to look both ways, but don’t tell me you never just trust your ears.

    I think this is a fairly important issue. A Nightline special about the latest CHILDKILLING CARS FROM GM, and public perception is going to hurt acceptance, which is the last thing I would want.


  30. 30
    dbK

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:18 am)

    I was really, really hoping that

    “This is a different thing, we have something that’s called a pedestrian friendly alert. You would activate it as a driver.”

    Would lead into “IT’S CALLED A HORN.”

    This entire debate is moronic. Pay attention. If you walk on the proper side of the road, you don’t have to worry about not hearing a car, because you see it. So I don’t buy the kids walking to school/runners/etc argument. Bikes that are going to be used on roads where this could be a problem should be outfitted with mirrors, used to help with just this sort of issue. As for the visually impaired, there are already audible cues about when to cross at crosswalks around here (Walk gets a long beep, don’t walk is silent), and don’t cross anywhere else unless you have a buddy with working eyes. I don’t think blind people are meandering around on back roads alone at night, so there shouldn’t have to be a design for that what-if.


  31. 31
    Adam

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:21 am)

    You guys, we are a pretty fascinating community. Let’s get present to the fact that “Blind people will just have to get over it” is pretty darn closed minded. They trust their lives with their ears. Just like “Joe” I walked out in front of a Prius too, it was SILENT. What stopped me was the movement out of the corner of my eye. Let’s face it, if I was blind and he was searching for a number on his phone, I would have been road kill. There has to be a subtle pleasing noise a vehicle can make to alert people when the vehicle is traveling at lower speeds. (you won’t hear it inside the vehicle anyway).


  32. 32
    Keith Twombley

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:26 am)

    Oh god, please don’t waste a penny more on researching this hippie bullcrap.

    Make the car. Sell the car. I will buy it.

    It does not need a ridiculous fake engine noise.

    It does not need something “highly technical, but should have no relation at all to a combustion engine, it should be highly pleasing, almost imperceptible as to what’s (actually) happening”

    In fact, fire that guy. I’m sure he’s paid too much money to sit in a dark room smoking pot all day when he should be helping design this car.


  33. 33
    Murray

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:27 am)

    I cant see it OR hear it yet…

    Its still just too far away…


  34. 34
    Jeremy

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:29 am)

    How about the sound of George Jetsons little UFO? That would work for me 100%. Chances are, if people demand that GM tries to build every eventuality into this vehicle for the sake of avoiding bad press, they will go out of business before we ever see one roll off the assembly line. We are talking statistics here people. Some sort of warning device can be added after the initial roll out… I don’t see any huge “Sight
    impaired against the Prius” movement out there.


  35. 35
    Cautious Fan

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:37 am)

    #30 dbk

    I like your argument. As long as children walk on the correct side of the road, and pay attention, it shouldn’t be a problem. Lets place the burden on them to accomodate electric cars.

    My kids are great, and we teach them safety, but they’re still kids. They don’t always pay attention or consider what they’re doing, that’s why their considered minors and not adults. Kids already have a problem running out into streets. If they can’t hear cars coming, I suspect it’ll get worse.


  36. 36
    Dave G

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:40 am)

    #22 Freemon Sandlewould Says: “Sonofa….liberal creeps are going to force one of my favorite things about the electric car to be ruined……..I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO A QUIET CAR !!!

    Its not even out yet and the libdems are already trying to ruin it!

    I’ll disconnect my noise maker. Sorry. I’ll honk if Stevie Wonder is out walking.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    You’re missing the main points:

    1) The noise maker is activated by the driver. You don’t have to disconnect it. Just don’t switch it on.

    2) It’s not blind people, but kids on bikes that will be the big problem.

    3) Forget about the liberals. Ambulance chasing lawyers are the problem. If GM didn’t have a noise maker, they would go after GM. If you don’t switch the noise maker on, they will go after you…


  37. 37
    Exp_EngTech

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:42 am)

    Anyone else remember Mattel’s “V-rroom!” Motor Kit for bikes and trikes back in the 60′s ?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MC0dK42wOOA

    Maybe that’s what the Volt needs.


  38. 38
    Ray

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:00 am)

    There used to be a toy out when I was a kid (about a million years ago). that made a whistling noise when air moved through it. The harder you ran with it … the louder the noise as it cycled up. It had a range of about 50 feet for noise. It cost about 10 cents.. (maybe a buck at the novelty store now).. Attach it under the car somewhere close to the front (where is that duct tape?). Done… The noise will be outside and it will still be silent inside the car..
    Just kidding… I am sure the car will make enough road noise to be heard in most circumstances..


  39. 39
    Aspherical

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:04 am)

    Put a baseball card in between the spokes. Problem solved. :)

    (just make sure it isn’t a Joe DiMaggio rookie card)


  40. 40
    Jerome

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:18 am)

    #39, I shudder to think of what cards I ruined back in the early 60′s…….


  41. 41
    Jeff M

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:22 am)

    Other press on this subject:

    http://tinyurl.com/5ax554

    http://tinyurl.com/6qynb3

    http://www.evworld.com/news.cfm?newsid=18828

    http://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/columnists/robert_price/story/532494.html

    I think the subject is overblown… I’ve only heard of one or two accidents involving a Prius driving with the ICE off and a seeing impaired pedestrian. I say it’s a non issue…. however GM’s idea of a second “horn” so the driver can alert pedestrians (seeing impaired or not) is not a bad middle ground.


  42. 42
    Gsned57

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:25 am)

    It’ll be nice when this is the most pressing issue at hand but first LJGTVWOTR!

    NPNS


  43. 43
    Xzlon

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:34 am)

    I put Deer whistles on my vehicles and out of curiosity i watched the deer along the side of the road. I never saw even one that seemed to notice the sound. They do notice my diesel truck.

    I have been hit by a deer and by a child in the neighbor hood. Fortunately I was going fast enough the deer hit me on the side and slow enough that I was stopped before the child hit me. Both of them got up and ran away. I don’t think anything short of ships horn would have prevented either of these, maybe not even then.

    I do like the idea of a distinctive alarm horn that can be actuated by a lever to warn bicyclist and others that might be frightened by a regular horn blast. Do we have a new alarm sound? Maybe we should start a contest to define THE electric car sound.


  44. 44
    H. Hulseman

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:35 am)

    Noise as a signal to the blind could be provided as needed.

    This would require the blind person or any one who wants audible warning to carry a device that would transmit a signal to cars in their vicinity. The cars that received the signal would begin to make a sound so the blind person could hear the car and approximate its location. The car would stop making the sound when out of range (hundreds of feet). This would alert the driver and the blind when necessary and would keep the quiet as much of the time as possible.


  45. 45
    Dan

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:39 am)

    Who cares about the horn. It is all about MPG, MPK, range, range, range, batteries, efficiency.


  46. 46
    James S

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:44 am)

    i immidiatly thought of the de’loreon from “back to the future”. while i’m sure the sounds will be more aesthetically pleasing than that, i’m very excited about the car making “futuristic” sounds, both inside and out. it’s just like the prototypes original design, in that it just looked so modern and awesome. heck, thats half the reason i wanna drive the thing, is it just looks so cool! when you tell someone about your electric car they right away think it’s some dumb looking hunk of crap, i cant wait to show mine off to people and show them we can be green AND stylish


  47. 47
    Todd

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:46 am)

    What’s really cool is while saving on our pocket book for the cost of the energy the car uses, we’ll also be helping to reduce noise polution. Can anyone imagine driving in New York or LA and the only auto sound would be an occasional horn!


  48. 48
    Doug Pratt

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:47 am)

    While I think it’s cool that they are considering the whole experience, my first thought was, give me the powertrain and design I want, and don’t sweat the details.

    The more I thought about it, however, the more I decided I want the car to tell me exactly what condition it is in and what it is doing. Information! I can’t get too much information. Let the car tell me as much as it can, so I can make an informed decision of what I want it to do. That’s what humans are supposed to do.


  49. 49
    mikatollah

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:50 am)

    The Volt should sound like George Jetson’s space car…


  50. 50
    TK

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:51 am)

    I think it should make a farting sound. That would be sure to alert pedestrians! LOL.


  51. 51
    Don Weiser

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:51 am)

    It will make the sound of one hand clapping, grasshoppers.


  52. 52
    Mike-o-Matic

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:52 am)

    @26 Rashiid,
    >> I just want quiet. Silence is golden.

    Amen, brother. I sure wish the dump trucks that snort their way past my house at 6am were electric!!

    @28 Jeremy,
    >> My volt will be surrounded by a rainbow force field of love that
    >> will gently nudge any bystander harmlessly into marshmallow ditches.

    LOL! Thanks for the belly laugh.

    Honestly everybody, modern vehicles are so quiet at low speeds, often all you hear is the tire noise. This subject is sooo overblown (which makes it simply PERFECT for do-gooder politicians to screw things up over!).

    @49, Mikatollah,
    >> The Volt should sound like George Jetson’s space car…

    I predict you will make a fortune in the burgeoning “vehicle -in-motion exterior audio” aftermarket business. Just watch out for those Hanna-Barbera lawyers, they’re a real bunch of sharks!!
    http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:fWs0Qew-BJkJ::blogs.seapine.com/grant/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/jabberjaw.png


  53. 53
    kdawg

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:00 am)

    They just need to put a 10-speaker, 500W sound system in the Volt. The we all can turn up our bass like the kids do now. The blind and all your neighbors sitting in their homes will hear you, but you will lose 10 miles of range due to the power draw.


  54. 54
    Red HHR

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:06 am)

    My oh my, does that great iPOD thing on the dash not have 1001 sounds built in. Of course I am sure you could download for a small fee a rendering of Jay Leno’s 1909 Baker electric from your On-Star. Just like a cell phone, choose your ring tone.

    Red HHR (with iPOD port plugged)


  55. 55
    Dave B

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:07 am)

    The more junk they put on this car, the more expensive it is going to get–as well as the more things that can break once in consumer’s hands. If GM is seriously worried about striking pedestrians, CUT IT OUT. Just look at stats of current strikes and it will alleviate your concerns. Ugh..common sense here folks is going out the window.


  56. 56
    Aspherical

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:12 am)

    I like the idea of customizable sounds. For example:

    - Clickity-clack of a baseball card in the spokes.
    - The tie-fighter sound from Star Wars (which I never understood since the tie-fighter fly in space, which is a vacuum, anyways…)
    - The music from Spy Hunter.
    - Train sound (since it is a serial hybrid).
    - A recording of you going “vroom! jurrrr……”

    Oh the possibilities!

    / Hehe. Not really. I want a completely silent car as well. I will deactivate or cover up any noise making feature if I do get a Volt. Such a frivolous subject…


  57. 57
    N Riley

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:12 am)

    I can understand the “need” for an artificial sound generator, but I hope they make it where it can be turned off easily. And once turned off, stay off unless turned back on. Don’t default it to being on every time you start up the Volt. Where I live I don’t do very much “street” driving. I am probably in the majority in this type of driving. Most of us do suburban or highway driving and little “downtown” driving. But, leave it to the politicians and it will be required to be on every car and be active at all speeds all the time and make terrible noises. They will certainly screw it up if it can be screwed up and we know it can.


  58. 58
    N Riley

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:17 am)

    The start up sequence should be pretty obvious to anyone looking at either of the displays on the Volt. You would almost have to be blind, deaf or have your eyes closed and your ears stopped up. You will see the screens come alive and see some type of sequence in the information being displayed. I guess they will add voice response saying: “The Volt is ready for driving.” Or some such phrase. I guess we will find out what they are going to do some day. Its pretty obvious when the Prius is “all systems go” status. Maybe GM can improve on that. I am sure they will.


  59. 59
    Reginald Winworth III

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:23 am)

    The U.S. Government is going to give GM an additional $10 billion so it can layoff thousands of factory workers, close thousands of dealerships, bankrupt who knows how many parts suppliers and give its executives large Christmas bonuses. Thanks. This government has gone INSANE with these corporate bailouts. This is pure socialism, not capitalism, we all might as well move to France.


  60. 60
    nasaman

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:28 am)

    Closeup photos of the Volt’s steering wheel show a button/switch on the left clustered with the cruise controls simply labeled “GAP”. I hope this means GM is providing a forward-looking sensor that will automatically apply the Volt’s brakes when necessary to avoid a collision with the car ahead, as a few other high-end car makers are already doing.

    Perhaps this same sensor could be used at lower speeds to sense the presence of persons, cyclists, pets or other objects in the car’s path to trigger a highly-audible & distinctive (yet pleasant) “alert” sound. This automatic “alert” feature could be activated by the driver below 25mph …..and could be overriden by the driver to sound the alert manually and/or deactivate the alert feature.


  61. 61
    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:29 am)

    When driving your Volt, turn the MP3 player’s volume to “11″


  62. 62
    Texas Tea

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:30 am)

    Black Gold is at $63.05, time to fill up that high mileage vehicle.


  63. 63
    noel park

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:33 am)

    #5 Bob, #15 RB, #18 Manny, and #26 Rashiid Amul, among many others, all have it right. This is a non-issue, IMHO. Well done bloggers! Next case.

    #42 Gsned57:

    Amen!!

    LJGTVWOTR!! NPNS!


  64. 64
    Steve

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:39 am)

    This would be the first thing I’d disable on my Volt.


  65. 65
    I.B. Woofer

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:40 am)

    Just install a nice set of speakers in the Volt and all the driver has to do is crank up the bass. I am sure many of you have heard that car coming down the road and vibrating anything within 100 yards. I like deep bass, but man some of the type of music today’s youth is listening to. I’ll just say that someone forgot to put the “c” into rap music.


  66. 66
    Allan

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:41 am)

    I want it SILENT! I want to stalk ex lovers!


  67. 67
    Dana Kincaid

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:42 am)

    “You can tell it is a hybrid by the intense aura of smugness it generates.”

    >>>Hmmmmmmaaahhhhhhh. Happy to be of service!<<<

    Within his thorax, Marvin’s gears ground impotently.


  68. 68
    Ralph Nader

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:51 am)

    The EV is inherently a killing machine. There have been numerous accidents with permanent injuries and even death at the hands of the raging EV while it is in reverse motion and making no sounds what so ever. The NTSA must mandate that all EV on this nation’s roads be equipped with external sound system that makes their presence known at all times. If the auto makers do not equip them with this feature you can rest assured that we will present legislation that will force them to comply. We will not allow silent vehicle on public roads, this is a safety issue. I know all Americans will stand behind this requirement.


  69. 69
    Gary

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:52 am)

    It seems that GM is onto something here. Pleasant sounds add to the ownership experience. The sound of a door thunk without the tinny noise (like a Honda Element) adds to the feeling of quality of a vehicle. It’s also like having a nice TV, and having a nice sourround sound system to go with it. It just makes a good thing better.


  70. 70
    R.Marcena

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:59 am)

    I expect the a blind persons other senses are greatly heightened, so they could probably here the wheels turning on the pavement. Giving the driver the ability to activate the sound is not pragmatic. If they forget, who is at fault. I think you either make the car emit a sound or no sound at all.


  71. 71
    Steve Karbownik

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:01 am)

    It is absolutely stupid to have the car make any other sounds that it does during normal operation. There is so much noise pollution now and one of the benefits of the electric car would be to reduce or eliminate it. There are not that many visually impaired people that would be affected and I would suggest some one come up with a motion detector for the blind that would sense the presence of anything in close proximity and give the visually impaired person a heads up.


  72. 72
    john1701a

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:03 am)

    It is all about MPG, MPK, range, range, range, batteries, efficiency.
    ______________________________________

    The lack of concern for production cost is very interesting.


  73. 73
    Thomas Dolby

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:09 am)

    In order for the visually impaired to identify an EV the artificial sound needs to be the same for ALL electric vehicles. This would require a government mandate. I think many government vehicles already emit a high pitched beeping sound when in reverse. Since the EV is silent in both forward and reverse, it makes sense to require a fulltime noise generator that cannot be disabled by the owner, perhaps wiring it directy into the PCM and continuously monitored by external sensors. You can be sure that some boy genius will try to defeat this device. If the built-in monitor does not recognize the correct tone and volume during startup it will disable the EV as it has no business on the public road system should the external sound system become defective.


  74. 74
    GmsAJoke

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:14 am)

    Great, another 3000 meetings and 10 billion dollars wasted by the idiots in charge to figure out what an electric car should sound like.

    Imagine if these morons were in charge way back when. We would still be saying

    God save the queen,

    Every afternoon with our fricking tea.


  75. 75
    Robert Anderson

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:20 am)

    As the Volt and other EV start to populate our nation’s roads I fear for our children. You will eventually begin hearing on the news about the endless slaughter of our youth by these silent death machines. I for one will fight for our children and push our government to require that the Volt have a loud external sound system so that the children playing in the middle of the road know that a dangerous vehicle is approaching. Safety First !!


  76. 76
    CDAVIS

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:21 am)

    ______________________________________________________
    “NO GAS”

    How about an audio loop of “NO GAS” whereby the faster the car goes the faster the audio loop repeats “NO GAS”…yes I’m just joking.

    Adding any type of artificial noise to the VOLT will be a delicate matter because the low noise of the EV driving experience adds to the EV driving experience.

    On a side note, I last month had an opportunity to drive the Tesla Roadster and was struck by how quite the car is. All you hear is the slight whirl of the electric motor when accelerating and a slight whirl (regen braking) when braking. Although I’m accustomed to driving a quite in-neighborhood EV (modified golf-cart), I was still surprised by just how quite the Tesla drove. My Tesla drive, in summary, confirmed to me the rumor that you can not drive that car without a smile on your face; it was a very cool and fun experience. One of the things that sometimes get lost in the VOLT story is the cool factor that comes with driving an EV (very quite, very high torque, no gas, for some reason feels like playing hooky from school when you were a kid).
    _____________________________________________________


  77. 77
    Tom M

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:26 am)

    I believe we are all missing the point here. We as responsible citizens need to be responsible drivers. It is up to us make sure we drive save and when you see that child, bike or white & red cane take extra precautionary steps to insure their safety. I don’t know how many times I have darn near been hit just crossing the street with the light in my favor. There is no such thing as ” The pedestrian has the right of way.” We as drivers of that vehicle need to insure the safety of everyone, including our selves.

    God Bless America.

    Tom


  78. 78
    Frogman

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:27 am)

    This comment has nothing to do with the sound issue, but I have tried communicating with GM thru their Contact site without success. My concern is this. A friend bought a Toyota Prius and sustained rock damage which put out his right front headlight. In order to replace it the Toyota dealer had to remove the front bumper, then change the light unit. Total cost including labor was $600. That seems outrageous. Word to the Wise: Volt could gain points by designing its headlights to be replaced for a nominal cost if damaged.


  79. 79
    RichardX

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:28 am)

    I am for a low frequency thumping sound with a very distinct pattern. Local law enforcement can be used to quickly check if owner has tampered with vehicle. Issuing a $1000 fine for first offense would be sufficient. We absolutely cannot have silent vehicle roaming our neighborhoods. There is just too much risk to the general public.


  80. 80
    Cautious Fan

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:34 am)

    From 1999 – 2008, 104 kids were killed by airbags. That’s about 10 per year, which is remarkably small. Now many producers are adding sensors to detect car seats or lightweight people, switches to turn airbags off, etc.

    I predict that with such a response over 10 deaths per year, noise makers are going to be installed on EV’s, assuming that baseline noise levels are not high enough. They will be silent to the people in the car. Noise pollution will take a back seat to people’s lives, as it should.


  81. 81
    N Riley

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:39 am)

    #55 Dave B

    “Ugh..common sense here folks is going out the window.”

    ————————-

    It always does when the government and do gooders get involved. I do think some sort of noise device will be enacted in legislation. Probably will be for all vehicles to insure a minimum sound level at slow speeds. The Lotus idea is not bad, but I would like to choose the type of engine sound it makes. About all you hear from new cars is tire noise these days. The engines are really quite. Too bad the same government and do gooders can’t agree on limiting loud sounds coming from vehicles including sound systems.


  82. 82
    Cautious Fan

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:42 am)

    #73 Dolby

    I don’t think gov’t needs to be involved here. Manufacturers are responsible for making safe products, irregardless of regulations. If they make an unsafe product, lawsuits come and public perception drops. Also, if someone disables a safety system, they’d better have good liability insurance. I don’t think fines would be needed. Try getting insurance after a stunt like that.


  83. 83
    N Riley

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:45 am)

    #65 I. B. Woofer

    “I’ll just say that someone forgot to put the “c” into rap music.”

    ————————–

    You hit it out of he ball park with that comment. I am still rolling on the floor. Great comment on the state of today’s music.


  84. 84
    Shane

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:45 am)

    Says you:
    “There are indeed legislative efforts underway to ensure EVs make some noise, to protect the visually impaired.”

    Says me:
    These legislative efforts have nothing to do with the visually impaired. The oil industries are behind this, trying to dampen efforts which would make electric cars readily available and inexpensive. This is a fact. Most of the noise from an automobile is not from its engine, but from interaction between the road surface and rubber tires. Research it if you don’t believe me.

    Blind or not, pedestrians will walk in front of vehicles from time to time. It’s the driver’s responsibility to look out for these people, and use the horn and brakes when appropriate.

    I love the idea of a near-silent vehicle. Noise pollution is an awful thing.


  85. 85
    Cautious Fan

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:46 am)

    #80 N Riley

    Who are you referring to by “do gooders.” I have 3 kids and I want to make sure the noise is sufficient for their safety. Would I be considered a “do gooder?”


  86. 86
    The Dark Knight

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:48 am)

    I can see where the silence of the Volt could be beneficial. For bank robbers and burglers and such who roam at night like the wind. But for the average joe no need, just put an external sound safety device. If the Volt owner doesn’t like the mandated sound they can just roll up their window. Some have said they would disable this sound device. Foolish move, you people are the type that disable the air bag, abs braking etc. for your own personal enjoyment. This issue is about the safety of the general public who is at risk. I could only see the sound system being disabled by onboard computer only when the EV is on a known highway using GPS signals.


  87. 87
    statik

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:50 am)

    These ‘sound’ posts are always very animated with lots of people on both sides.

    I myself want a quiet environment, and also a quiet car….but I also care about children and blind people, so there is a conflict.

    Every year children and blind people are already dying on our streets, I cannot imagine the apocalyptical ramifications of the electric automobile. How did they ever get the first cars on the road at all?

    Therefore, to prevent this new harbinger of death and to correct a massive problem already plaguing our fringe populus, all children and blind people should be banned from our roadways completely. Perhaps they should remain indoors altogether, this would also prevent other horrors from stalking our weak, such as lightning strikes, springtime allergies and lawn dart accidents

    I propose they are confined to their residences until such time as they can legally vote…or they regain their eyesight.


  88. 88
    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:51 am)

    Perhaps the Volt can emit a pungent odor?

    http://garfwod.250free.com/2001_feel_it.wav

    =D~


  89. 89
    nasaman

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:51 am)

    I’m amazed at how non-chalant and/or outright dismissive so many posting on this subject are, so I feel obliged to repeat what I said in post #60, with emphasis. First of all, the Volt will be designed with a forward-looking sensor to help prevent rear-ending the car ahead. (Evidence: closeup photos of the Volt’s steering wheel show a button/switch on the left clustered with the cruise controls simply labeled “GAP”). I’m sure this means GM is providing a forward-looking sensor that will automatically apply the Volt’s brakes when necessary to avoid a collision with the car ahead, as a few other high-end car makers are already doing. The sensor is the hard part and that’s already being done ….adding an alert sounder and the switching to activate/deactivate it should be easy!

    IMO, this same sensor could be used at lower speeds to sense the presence of persons, cyclists, pets or other objects in the car’s path to trigger a highly-audible & distinctive (yet pleasant) “alert” sound. This automatic “alert” feature could be activated by the driver below 25mph …..and could be overriden by the driver to sound the alert manually and/or deactivate the alert feature. As Frank Weber is quoted by Lyle above, “….we have something that’s called a pedestrian friendly alert. You would activate it as a driver. It is more pleasing (than a horn) and you would activate it much like you would your high-beam. This is how you would use it below 25 miles per hour.” In other words, the Volt will most likely include an alert feature and I heartily encourage GM to continue with its design!


  90. 90
    Silvio Carnevali

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:55 am)

    #1, #50:
    I’m fine with the farting noise as long as it doesn’t come with odor attached… ;)


  91. 91
    Michael B.

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (12:00 pm)

    with the issue of the horn i hope GM will put a Stong sounding horn instead of a weak “non-respectable” horn…. A cars horn says a lot about a car i think


  92. 92
    TS

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (12:01 pm)

    What logic is there to requiring vehicles make artificial noise? Are there a disproportionate number of visually impaired people run over each year by bicycles? electric mopeds? So why make special exception for cars then?


  93. 93
    Green Products

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (12:06 pm)

    I have a feeling this feature will be hacked and people will be able to customize their car sound. Kind of like a custom ring tone, everyones car will have some different weird noise.


  94. 94
    Chris Jackson

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (12:07 pm)

    While I can respect the problem of visually impaired people not being able to hear the car, the sound should not be ‘cheesy’. The real problem is pedestrians get hit by normal cars all the time. The real solution is to have a collision detection system that could trigger the horn on the car via computer which would be faster than the driver could respond.

    How about city buses? Have you ever noticed that the sound is misleading because the engine is in the rear of the bus, so the front of the bus is very quiet as it approaches you.


  95. 95
    Concerned Pedestrian

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (12:07 pm)

    The external sound generator on the Volt and other EV should be variable with speed of vehicle. I would want to know when the maniac behind the wheel guns the throttle and tries to run me over. As volume increases it tends to get people’s attention. So it looks more and more like a simulated ICE sounds will do the trick. I personally would want mine to sound like a V12 Ferrari.
    I do think some kind of external sound device will be mandated by the fed eventually, similar to the 3rd tail light and other safety devices have been added in the past, so GM should already be planning for it.


  96. 96
    Steve

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (12:13 pm)

    Why is there so much animosity toward quite cars? I think the vision impaired safety argument is a weak one. Normally sighted people walk out in front of traffic and get hit too. What’s the explanation for that?

    Is this really a safety issue or just an excuse to shift the blame away from people not paying attention to their surroundings? Kids run out in front of conventional “noisy” cars all the time. I suppose you could mandate flashing lights and a siren or blowing the the horn every 3 seconds in a residential area. That would certainly make people aware of the car’s presence. Good luck explaining to the angry mob that all that noise is for the safety of their children and blind people.

    Why add noise pollution? The world is noisy enough already.


  97. 97
    Confucious

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (12:13 pm)

    He who drives a Volt drives in silence.

    EV = Silent Danger


  98. 98
    Jim in PA

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (12:20 pm)

    May I suggest the Flight of the Valkyrie as a constant audio loop? And of course the horn should emit a Homer Simpson “D’oh!”


  99. 99
    Michael Schumacher

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (12:21 pm)

    The Volt should use artificial sound for driver feedback. Driver feedback is an important concept within the auto racing environment. Having appropriate feedback for every vehicle action is need to maximize the safety potential of your driving habits. Both the driver and the outside populace should be given audible clues to the speed of the Volt at all times.


  100. 100
    N Riley

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (12:34 pm)

    #84 Cautious Fan

    Do Gooder: Any one who wants to perform an act or have an act performed for the sake of mankind (or animal kind, in some cases) without fore thought to its consequences on the rest of mankind (or animal kind).

    I, too, have three children and three grandchildren. I love them as much as a parent or grandparent can. I do not advocate anything that would harm people, animals or the envirnoment. I am not opposed to a sound system to warn people or animals that a vehicle is approaching. It just needs to be done correctly. The system developed by Lotus is a good example of the possibilities. It would be nice to know what GM is planning for the Volt. Then we could gauge if it will be better. Government and the “do gooders” generally have knee-jerk reactions to problems and usually make things worse. All I am saying is let’s study the problem and come up with some real solutions.

    And, yes, having three children that you love and want to protect does make you a “do gooder”, but in a good way.


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    Oct 28th, 2008 (12:43 pm)

    do-gooder
    Noun
    Informal a well-intentioned but naive or impractical person

    Collins Essential English Dictionary 2nd Edition 2006 © HarperCollins Publishers 2004, 2006

    ——————————

    A naive idealist who supports philanthropic or humanitarian causes or reforms.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


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    Jim in AR

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (12:48 pm)

    If GM keeps inching the delivery date back and the price up, the only sound will be a loud thud.


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    Jim Adcock

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (12:53 pm)

    And The Answer Is: an external air-bag shaped like a cow-catcher. If you really want to save lives mandate back-up sensors or back-up tweeters so people won’t back-up over their own kids.


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    N Riley

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (12:54 pm)

    Having a system that would emit some kind of warning sound when the vehicle is traveling at slow speeds sounds reasonable. Problem is, what is a slow speed. I have seen people, and kids, step out in front of on coming traffic where the speed limit was 45 mph. You just can not cover all the possibilities. We need to do something, I agree. But just what and how is the question. Doing something just because it feels good will only cause us more problems. We see evidence of that mentality all around us every day.


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    mikeinatl.

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (12:56 pm)

    Maybe the Volt should make a Harley Davidson noise all the time so people know its coming when its still a mile away.

    Then nobody would ever get hurt.

    Or, the Volt could just be quiet.


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    Casey

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (12:58 pm)

    I think a laser beam on all curbs that when a dog, a kid, cat, deer, old people, and the blind step through it they get zapped really hard and it makes them jump back so they won’t step in front of a really fast Volt comin down the road , never mind, second thought put it right on the EV!!

    NO PLUG, NO SALE


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    Oct 28th, 2008 (1:00 pm)

    You can put a blaring horn on every vehicle that sounds all the time and people and animals will still get hit every single day of the year. People are just not aware of their surroundings as well as they should be. That goes for drivers and pedestrians.

    We could require all electric vehicles to have a flagman walking in front waving a flag and blowing a horn if the vehicles is traveling in a pedestrian area. That should help our economy by giving us full employment. (I hope everyone understands I am joking with this last tidbit.)


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    Oct 28th, 2008 (1:04 pm)

    Future mantras to go along with current No Plug No Sale:

    No Warning Horn, No Sale?
    No Radar, No Sale?
    Big Price, No Sale?
    No Cowcatcher, No Sale?


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    Canada Man

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (1:07 pm)

    To all those who want to mandate that EVs make more, excessive and un-necessary sounds…..get real.

    First, let me see you ban portable music devices. If you don’t then you will have to make sure that all portable music devices have a max volume that is quieter then the sound of all the silent EVs running around. This means that:

    a) all personal audio devices need to be whisper quite so you can hear the EVs over them
    b) all EV’s need to be obnoxiously loud so you can hear them over your personal audio device.

    Otherwise, your are not serious about this topic.

    Is it really worth it?? I think not.

    LOL @ Statik #86

    I say we all follow Statik’s logic. It makes more since and is far cheaper as well. Way to go Statik, always thinking about the economy. :)


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    Gordon

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (1:10 pm)

    Why not give us a variety of choices?
    After-market producers will happily make all the kinds of sounds we want if we can plug a module in, or program a code in. From chugging train sounds to whirring starship sounds, we can choose from what gets offered. Volume or pitch can increase with vehicle speed and the sound needs only be projected forward.


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    MarkinWI

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (1:12 pm)

    N Riley/multiple: So “do-gooders” are everyone who has a concern about accidents, who obvioulsy have no common sense, otherwise they would not be concerned? Except for yourself, who also has some level of concern since God has graced you with children and grandchildren, and so you will come up with an enlightened solution at some point and then share it with the rest of humanity? And the folks at GM who are actually working on this problem are not good enough for you and the other anti-do-gooders who posted today becuase…………?

    In all seriousness, why on earth do so many people assume that they are the only ones with common-sense?


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    bob generic

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (1:20 pm)

    I think it should like the Jetson’s flying car. Higher pitched harmonic with bubbles……..not sure if that is a very good description but dammit they said we would all have flying cars by now when I was a kid. If you don’t know what I mean go to Youtube and down load the jetson’s and give it a listen.

    Okay they probably wouldn’t go for it so how about a mid-range three note harmonica chord. The sound would carry a great distance without being loud and it is not unpleasant to hear. I can’t take credit for that though I think it was the sound made by the cars in Logan’s Run.


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    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (1:24 pm)

    Cure blindness. Problem solved.


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    Jack  Schranz

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (1:38 pm)

    Does the Prius make a sound? Lets get the battries and the car right and then worry about the sound.


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    Oct 28th, 2008 (1:42 pm)

    #110 MarkinWI

    Don’t get so upset. The definition came from two dictionaries. I did not say I was a do-gooder nor did I say anyone who was was bad. I just stated a fact about government and people who want to do what they deem as the best thing for us. I think you need to go back and re-read the different comments I made.

    I do have children and grandchildren and I do believe that I know what is best for them. I do not and would not try to apply that to someone else or to their children or grandchildren. That is something for them to decide, not me. So, “back off, Jack”, as they say.

    And, just where did I say I had a solution? I remember call for studying the problem and coming up with the best solution. I even suggested studying the solution Lotus has brought forward. Not once did I suggest, except in jest about the flagman, a solution that I wanted to force onto anyone. I did say that I thought we needed something to protect people and animals. I am just not ready to accept the solution offered by knee-jerk bureaucrats and legislatures with it being studied some.


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    J.D.

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (1:44 pm)

    A sound they say. Hmmm, Speakers of Audio aimed towards front and or the back.

    Computer loaded sound?

    What if I get to load the sound of my choice.

    The sweet , sweet sounf of a Big Block 637 cubic inch ” Top Sportsman ‘” engine would be my choice. Especially when one could upload the sound and have it rise and fall depending on speed.

    Well, I was wondering how or what sound the vehicle would make,if any. Certainly needs some discernable unique sound. Needs to have something in the way so it won’t be easily stolen without notice.

    And what have they thought about for vehicle theft devices????


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    Abe

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (1:48 pm)

    This sounds like people are assuming that driver will just run down pedestrians that don’t hear their car coming. Last time I checked, the driver is responsible for controlling their vehicle and not killing people, the sound of the car should have no bearing.


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    Ralph

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (1:55 pm)

    Why should it make any noise? People hearing impaired or not should be aware of their surroundings, as should the driver. What few Volts produced should eliminate at least some of the traffic noise pollution that exists now.


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    Richard

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (2:00 pm)

    At $35 to $40 grand a pop, the only sound the Chevy Volt will be making will be cha-ching… the sound of a dealerships cash register.

    Tire, and at increasing speeds, wind accounts for most of the ‘noise’ many vehicles make when traveling. Noise suppression especially on some of the high end $$$ ICE vehicles has become a fine art with tuned exhaust systems and multiple mufflers…with these vehicles it’s hard to hear anything, inside or out. On some ICE vehicles the squeaking noise of the engine/accessory drive belts make the most noise.

    Will the electric motor/drive train on an electric car not make a slight whine? .. that would be my expectation. A whine at say somewhere within an average persons comfortable hearing range of say 2khz through 3Khz might work and would sound appropriate. It would also signify that the vehicle is electric…an important marketing feature.

    Too much extra noise really annoys people… In shopping mall parking lots I toot my horn to alert others when backing up, especially when my view is partially obstructed by lead sled guzzler/SUV’s in angled parking spots… yet people look at me with that annoyed “whats your problem bud” look when it’s just about safety and common sense, especially with hordes of little kids running around not looking where they are going. Hitting some little kid or Mum pushing a stroller when backing up is my ultimate nightmare.


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    Oct 28th, 2008 (2:05 pm)

    MarkinWI

    “n all seriousness, why on earth do so many people assume that they are the only ones with common-sense?”

    My brothers used to tell me that I had no common sense, just book sense. They understood common sense but could not as easily relate to me with my book sense. Of course, over the years I have always claimed that I did not have any common sense because of what my brothers used to say about me. But I do have some common sense. And I went back and re-read my comments and now I am left wandering if some else can read.


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    GLV

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (2:11 pm)

    What I don’t understand is why someone who is visually impaired would want to be crossing streets full of fast moving cars without the help of a guide dog or another sighted person anyway.

    But, if any daredevils just have to move about the streets, I like the idea of making RF receivers available that could be worn like ear buds. A RF transmitter with a limited range would be a cheap addition to the price of a car, and a low power drain on the batteries. That way, the only noise polution will be for those who want/need it…


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    Ed M

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (2:21 pm)

    bob generic #111

    I personally like the sounds of galloping horses over a wooden bridge or how about the old clanging bell from street cars. The sound of chain saws rip me up and who would deny “I feel good” by James Brown coming at you or for the more pedestrian, how about “get the h— out of the way” or “Knock You Down” Lyrics by 216. I think we should have a choice of sounds like ring tones on telephones.


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    Oct 28th, 2008 (2:30 pm)

    This notion that somehow the sight impaired need loud noises doesn’t make sense. One of the biggest complaints people have is traffic noise.
    Car makers have spent millions trying to make quiet cars and now were going to add artificail noise ? Incomprehensible.


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    noel park

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (2:38 pm)

    At #59 Reginald Winworth III commented on the proposed donation of $10 billion from the world’s largest honey pot, aka the Wall Street bailout fund, to “facilitate” the merger of GM and Chrysler. Any comments on this bloggers? Or will Lyle give it its own thread in due time?

    It’s really big stuff on the radio this AM.

    IMHO, it’s a lot more germane to the survival of GM, and whether the Volt ever actually happens, than this silly noise issue which has been chewed to death here numerous times.

    Will it really do anything to assure said survival and production or is it, as my brother and others have said, the desperate embrace of 2 drowning people, dragging each other under?

    And I have to agree with Reginald. The spectacle of politicians waving the bloody shirt of “socialism” while this circus is going on would be funny, it it were not so dangerous.

    “Privatize profit and socialize risk.”


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    Brad Gould

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (2:51 pm)

    Why should the “ambient sounds” be hard-wired? Can’t those be elements of themes (like Windows themes)? One day, I might want my Volt to sound just like the Jetson’s car. The next, I might want a Wild West Stage Coach, or a ’69 Olds 442, or a Model T, or a Raptor jet fighter, or some custom combo of all of them. Doesn’t this car have a few Gigs of solid-state user space? Just askin’


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    VoltLust

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (2:54 pm)

    I can wait! Here is a bumper sticker I made to put on my Volt!!

    http://www.cafepress.com/bumperchuckles.181209409


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    Oct 28th, 2008 (2:56 pm)

    #123 Noel Park

    The merger of GM and Chrysler could be liken to the survivor standing on the shoulders of he other so he would not drown also. Of course, in that manner, if your under-pinnings are not strong and you can’t swim by yourself, it is just a matter of time.

    I am not totally in favor of a bail-out of any company by the federal government (us taxpayers). At the same time, I do not want to see Chrysler bought by Nissan and Renault. Nor do I wish to see them shut down and all the jobs lost. Some jobs, by the thousands, I am afraid, will be lost in any case. No matter who buys or merges with Chrysler, jobs will be lost and plants will be closed. But, just like the swimmer standing on his counterpart’s shoulders, it is just a matter of time.

    I say, make Ford and GM low cost loans and let them divide up Chrysler, if its owners do not want to stay in business. Keep it in the family, so to speak. Those loans should be aimed at getting Ford and GM on the way to producing today’s cars and trucks and moving them towards alternative fuel vehicles such as the Volt. It should not be wasted on hydrogen fueled vehicles because that is just not the way to go. Mandate electric cars and trucks. Mandate series hybrids (Volt like) for longer distance vehicles for cross state or country travel.


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    ArkansasVolt

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (3:02 pm)

    btw… i paid $1.83/gallon for 87 octane gas today!


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    Tom H

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (3:02 pm)

    Working with a wheelchair bound colleague, and travelling around the US and Europe with him raised my consciousness with respect to accomodation of the disabled. But I think this whole thing about forcing electric cars to make noise is seriously misguided. Walking into the street without looking both ways is unreasonably dangerous, and if you cannot see, you cannot look.

    Listening is not an adequate way to check if it is safe to cross the street.


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    Oct 28th, 2008 (3:04 pm)

    If I bought a car with an artificial noisemaker, I would keep it on all the time. If a blind (can we still use that word?) person steps off the curb in front of you, and you did not activate the sound, the lawyers would take you for everything you have.


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    Oct 28th, 2008 (3:15 pm)

    #80 N Riley

    Who are you referring to by “do gooders.” I have 3 kids and I want to make sure the noise is sufficient for their safety. Would I be considered a “do gooder?”

    —————————————————
    I have always taught my daughter to look both ways before she crosses the street. This is the only reliable way to stay safe. Listening but not looking is unsafe.


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    Brian M

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (3:23 pm)

    nuclearboy, #2:
    “As far as noise goes, the cities who are worried about this issue should make the street slightly rough and then the tire noise will be sufficient to alert the blind. I was just in Amsterdam and the bikes are flying around everywhere (silently). The brick bike paths solve this issue because you can here the tire noise on these bike roads and that helps you avoid stepping out in front of a bike. This would be one solution for the cities.”
    ———————————————————————————-
    Unfortunately, that would defeat the purpose of hybrid and electric cars, because a rough road means more energy is needed to travel that road. Especially at low speed, tire friction with the road is a big part of the total energy consumption. It would also decrease the amount of energy recovered during braking, because the road does more of the braking work than it normally would.


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    Oct 28th, 2008 (3:31 pm)

    #130 Tom H

    Then you are a “do-gooder” but for the same obvious reasons as we all are. We love our children and try to teach them how to protect themselves and others as they make their way through this world. Each of us will do good each day as we try to improve our world and the life we live in it. If that makes us “do-gooders”, then let me join the party. But, our style of “do-gooder” is not bent on telling someone else how they should live their lives or how they should relate to the world around them. That is for each of us to decide.

    You are very correct. “Listening but not looking is unsafe.” But remember, children are just children and will not always be thinking when they do something like cross the street. Drivers have a duty to be very watchful in suburban areas. Children can be expected to do the unexpected. As can we all.


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    Oct 28th, 2008 (3:37 pm)

    There is no easy solution to this problem, as we have all seen today just reading some of the comments made. I do not have a solution. I don’t think anyone else has a complete solution that will work every time and every where. Mostly because there is not one. But I am willing to wait until GM tells us what they are going to do to see how far along the path of a solution they will move us. Hopefully the automakers are much further along that path than what we have seen expressed here today. Some kind of solution will come. Just what kind and will it be acceptable to most drivers, we don’t know yet. It is very difficult to satisfy all the people all the time. I know I would not even try. You come up with what you and the people involved with you consider the best solution and then you move forward with it. So, we wait for a solution.


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    Oct 28th, 2008 (3:39 pm)

    Especially socialize risk.

    The latest I have heard is that there is a tax break written into this “bailout” that allows a bank that buys another bank to devalue the assets and then take a tax write off for the devaluation. The money that the banks have been given is not being loaned out as was intended, but is being used to buy other banks. The taxpayers are not only giving the bank the money to acquire other banks, but also paying for any lost profits due to devalued paper held by the purchased bank. That could be something like 2 or 3 trillion dollars. Of course the motivation will be to over devalue the assets then later make even more profit. This is the last run on the taxpayers pocketbook as the thieves in power leave. Orchestrated much like the rational for war. There are weapons of mass destruction, the sky is falling, the world will collapse. It worked again.

    I think if the government finances the GM/Chrysler merger it will guarantee the death of GM. GM needs to go through bankruptcy and come out a lean and capable competitor.


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    Oct 28th, 2008 (3:48 pm)

    #134 Len

    You forget the bill that passed the house and senate was written by the house and senate. The house and senate committees responsible for the tax bill is controlled by the Democrats. The bill submitted to the house and senate originally by the administration was three pages long and the one written and passed by the house and senate was over 400 pages long. The thieves, as you called them, are not leaving office. They are very well established in the house and senate. Those same thieves are already talking about doing another special bail-out because they did not put enough pork and earmarks for their friends in the first one. My opinion is that all, or very nearly all, politicians are crooks. If they were not when elected, they quickly become one. That is why I support term limits and no special retirement and health plans for government workers, congressmen and senators included along with administration employees. They should be in social security and Medicare just like the rest of us.


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    Dobbs Beleo

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (3:50 pm)

    If the Tesla can get 250 miles per charge why does the Volt only get 40 miles per charge?
    Will the quality be better than Chevrolet? If not count me OUT!

    The sound? Should be a choice of three sounds one of which is silence.


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    Oct 28th, 2008 (3:53 pm)

    Personally im sick to death of car manufactures making cars “cool looking” or “neato” in some way. Like Harley Davidson purposefully making their motorcycles sound like a “perfect” H.D. bike. Making something based on image is how we got into the SUV problem in the first place. Just make our vehicles functional to the highest degree. Safety, efficiency then performance (as in how it drives). Let the looks and sound fall were they may.


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    Dobbs Beleo

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (3:56 pm)

    To set the record straight.

    Members of Congress DO pay into Social Security. Since the early 80′s. Check it out before believing all those stupid chain emails

    They also pay into a retirement plan. It is a good plan but not half as good as the average corporate VP’s retirement plan in any big corporation in the US.


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    Kaido

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (4:00 pm)

    The other 99% of the population is in most urban settings suffering from NOISE POLLUTION. Now how about balancing the interests of the majority against the interests of the minority and equipping the VI-people with some kind of improved detection devices instead of depriving most of the people of the progress new technology brings.

    In the first days of the automobiles some silly legislators required every automobile to have a person running in front of it with a red flag to warn others of new & dangerous. Somehow this sort of rubbish rules got dropped pretty quick. No point making the same mistakes again!


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    Wayne

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (4:01 pm)

    I think it should make the sound of the cars from the Jetsons.


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    Oct 28th, 2008 (4:02 pm)

    I think it was three pages on purpose. He wanted the congress to be outraged and working under a time constraint (artificial) so the lobbiests could get some carefully worded lines in the bill. I also have heard those three pages sat in the presidents office for three months. I believe Wall Streets influence in Washington is drawing to a close. They will no longer have easy accessibility to the taxpayers money.

    Yes it is filled with pork and I agree they should not have special retirement and health plans.

    I think it is time to have every line in every law traceable back to the person who put it there. We need some acountability.


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    statik

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (4:07 pm)

    New article with Lutz talking about the Volt from the PR conference today:

    http://www.freep.com/article/20081028/BUSINESS06/810280355/1014

    ———
    “We’ve been totally open with the press about the vehicle’s design, how and why changes were made from the concept car, how the battery testing is going and so forth,” Lutz said during a keynote address Monday at the Public Relations Society of America’s 2008 international conference.

    GM is aiming to launch a Volt that drives at least 40 miles on an electric charge before tapping an onboard gasoline generator that would run its electric motor for several hundred additional miles of range.

    “Volt has received 95% hugely positive coverage and has become really an iconic vehicle, which is strange to say about a vehicle that is not out yet,” Lutz said.

    “One of the reasons that we are being so open with the Volt and permitting the media to participate in the development is that this is uncharted territory for us,” Lutz said.

    “In the unlikely event that we were going to hit some huge stumbling block, we wanted the world to kind of see how we got to that stumbling block and what that stumbling block was. As it happens, luckily, we don’t seem to be encountering any stumbling blocks.”

    —————————
    /I don’t even know anymore…is this news?


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    Oct 28th, 2008 (4:08 pm)

    Put me down on the silent side of this. I think a lot of people are missing the point that people currently get hit by ICE cars, so engine noise doesn’t appear to be a cure all. Lets get some Volts on the road and see if they are in a statistically larger amount of car/pedestrian accidents and add noise later if necessary. Personally I have seen people step off the curb in front of fire trucks running full sirens.


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    Len

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (4:14 pm)

    I vote for a quiet Volt too.

    In some countries it is the responsibility of the larger vehicle to yield to the smaller all the way down to the pedestrian. It is the law and in court if you are in an accident and have the bigger vehicle you are automatically at fault.


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    Jackson

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (4:17 pm)

    Michael B (#90):

    “i hope GM will put a Stong sounding horn instead of a weak “non-respectable” horn…. “

    Me too. I’ve had two Saturn SL2s, but the horn has been a sore point. When some pushy middle-manager BMW jockey almost kills me by cutting into my lane with no turn-signal, I want to hit my wheel and hear BLA-A-A-A-AT!!, not the Saturns anemic little “to-o-ot.”

    nasaman, how would that gap sensor tell the difference between the car ahead and a stationary object along the roadway? I would expect that there is some in-built discrimination between the thing moving almost as fast as you, and everything else. I like the idea of using something that’s already there to solve the noise problem, but picking out pedestrians against the ambient background (almost as fast as everything else) might be more difficult than you imagine.

    If we have to have a sound (and if GM doesn’t provide a “pleasant” one, we’ll have city-fulls of continuous OSHA beepers), it should be downloadable / selectable. No Windows StartMeUp for me, and no “Jetsons car.” Different strokes …

    Many of you point out (ad nauseum) how “plain” or “conventional” the Volt looks. Here’s a chance to turn heads a brand-new way.


  147. 147
    N Riley

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (4:24 pm)

    #141 Len

    “I believe Wall Streets influence in Washington is drawing to a close. They will no longer have easy accessibility to the taxpayers money.”

    ————————-

    If you really believe that, I have some beach front property to sell you in Arizona. I have heard those same sentiments expressed by politicians from both parties for the last 40 years. It is just not going to happen. Wall Street, Big Business and Big Oil contribute vast sums to not only presidential candidates, but to members of congress. They have access and they use money to buy it. You and I have only our vote and it is being de-valued every day with the voter fraud going on in over 15 states and growing. Early voting does allow you to register and vote early. It also allows that same person to register under numerous names and vote numerous times. That is why early voting came into being. To allow paid voters to be able to vote on many different days and not try to cram all their illegal votes into just one day. They travel from one precinct to another to cast votes and are paid accordingly. It has been documented many times, but nothing done about it. Those people who supported early voting and no voter-id knew exactly what they were doing.

    But, good luck in your desire to see Wall Street removed from influence. While we are at it, let’s wish luck to seeing other “special interest” removed as well. What is a goat to some is a lamb to others.


  148. 148
    Jim I

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (4:27 pm)

    statik #14:

    I finished the assembly of my Interocitor. When will the plane be landing???

    :)

    I watch old movies too………..


  149. 149
    Bob G

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (4:29 pm)

    Don’t know if this has been addressed. I’m not about to read 147 comments, to find out.
    1st of all, adding a sound is stupid! What car nowadays do you hear the motor when the vehicle is approaching? All you hear is the tires. There needs to be nothing added during forward driving!
    The only sound that should be added is when backing up! Some sort of tone or beeping. I don’t want to start reading about little children getting run over, because they didn’t hear the car backing up and the driver didn’t see them!
    That’s all I care about. I no longer plan on buying this car, due to it’s new uglified look!
    Hopefully Toyota will come up with something better. Won’t be hard to beat!!!

    McCain/Phillies 2008


  150. 150
    Dave Hunter

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (4:30 pm)

    Spare us the nanny society. What about bicycles? If the visually impaired are wandering around streets with no audible crosswalk alarms they should be fitted with proximity detectors or their own audible alarms (sirens) so drivers could hear as well as see them. How far should we go to child-protect our entire universe?!


  151. 151
    kent beuchert

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (4:37 pm)

    Nothing like govt sponsored noise pollution, I always say.
    Those visually imparied folks that depend upon sounds to avoid cars are either 1) dead, or 2) spend a lot of time in the hospitals
    There are plenty of cars out there that have silent gas engines.
    Only the braindead politicians have decided that electric cars
    are the only ones that have no engine noise. If they pass minimum noise levels, there are plenty of Japanese cars that will have to be re-engineered to produce noise. Lucky us.


  152. 152
    N Riley

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (4:38 pm)

    #148 Bob G

    OK, so add a beep to the reverse so people coming up behind the vehicle can hear you as you back-up. While you are at it, add a motion sensor (or proximity sensor) so the driver will know there is something behind him. Not only that, require this to be installed on all vehicles made in the future. A backup camera would be a neat feature to have also.

    Problem is with all of these new safety features added to the vehicle, if the driver is not paying close attention, nothing but bad things could happen. The driver could be fiddling with the cd player, the radio, his girl friend or whatever. Nothing you do is going to override the driver not paying proper attention. Same for the man, woman or child who may be the victim of the accident.

    I am not really jumping on your case about your comment. I understand where you are coming from. But it is quite an involved problem with no easy solution.


  153. 153
    &eye

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (4:39 pm)

    “I’m sorry Dave, I can’t mow down that pedestrian in the crosswalk…”


  154. 154
    prototype66

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (4:44 pm)

    I heard every volt comes with a free deck of Bicycle playing cards and 4 clothes pins for the spokes!


  155. 155
    Michael

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (4:47 pm)

    I have to say I’m a bit disappointed in the final design. I was expecting something sexy and 4-door. Instead we’re getting another Prius it seems. I hope they keep the price under $ 40K on this one, otherwise it will be a no brainer for me to pick Prius.


  156. 156
    prototype66

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (4:53 pm)

    Michael, Prius is a totally different type of car. You are comparing apples (volt)to lemons (Prius) and the Volt is vastly superior technically and visually to the ICE driven Prius. I prefer to drive my 32 mile round trip to work and back without a single drop of petrol or oil changes, filter changes, transmission services or polution thank you very much!
    Just my 2 cents.


  157. 157
    Koz

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (4:53 pm)

    Boy…there are a lot of cold hearted p#$%^s in the world. May it be your son or daughter who is the first to disobey your golden rule of looking both ways. What he hell, chalk it up to natural selection. How could you possibly predict that after years of conditioned behavior of being able to hear cars, some people may actually act on that information?

    Directed noise for speeds above a safe velocity and below a noisy velocity is a wise (and liability free) choice. Otherwise, we’ll be hearing the excuse “nobody could have ever predicted this would be dangerous” about 3 or so years from now. These excuses will probably coming from a lot of the same people and sound a lot like the frustrating claims that “nobody could have possibly seen the economic crisis coming”. Yes, some people can and many people did. Just because someone is too dense to foresee something themselves is bad enough but it’s no excuse to ignore good reason and logic. Check your preconceptions and opinions at the door and just imagine how kids behave and operate, especially when playing in urban areas.


  158. 158
    BjR

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (4:59 pm)

    Let us hope that this works better than the model that (granted, a pre-release, but still…) couldn’t even make it up _very_ modest hill on Frontline. IMO, the “big three” have had their hats handed to them….for 30+ years. The failure to embrace new technologies (even when receiving subsidies/funding to do so) is nothing short of criminal.

    Toyota, et.al., deserve the success they’ve worked to obtain. These companies’ executives should feel ashamed of the seven figure handouts they’re receiving as “salary”.


  159. 159
    Bob G

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (5:01 pm)

    #151 N Riley

    OK, how about this……………………………….
    Attach an air horn that gives a blast, every second, rather driving forward or backward.
    won’t matter rather the driver is looking out for someone or not! Problem solved and at a very low expense!

    But seriously, all you really need is a backup beeper. The other stuff is fine if the buyer wants the added expense.


  160. 160
    Justin Weber

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (5:05 pm)

    This would be a 4-wheel irony…

    I think GM should make the Volt sound like a 16-cylinder, 4-MPG gas-guzzling, turbo-charged, fuel eating monster! It should sound like 4 Hummer H2′s put together. Picture that car roaring up to, and then passing an (over-the-top) environmentalist. The thoughts spinning around in their head.

    Or not. Looking forward to more details on this!


  161. 161
    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (5:10 pm)

    Exterior noise can be added with tire tread design. Everything from ‘buzzing’ with a cross pattern. To ‘popping’ by drilling holes.

    =D~


  162. 162
    Jack

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (5:13 pm)

    If you can hear the car that hits you does it hurt less?


  163. 163
    sam

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (5:14 pm)

    buy stock now


  164. 164
    statik

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (5:14 pm)

    #147 Jim I

    statik #14:

    I finished the assembly of my Interocitor. When will the plane be landing???
    I watch old movies too………..
    ————————————————————-

    Thank you for getting my obscure ‘This Island Earth/MST3K’ reference.
    /one more for the road
    ——–
    Exeter: Place your hands above the rails.

    [We hear the sound of static as the scientists' hands are suddenly pulled onto the rails.]

    Exeter: They’re magnetized.

    Mike [as Exeter]: And if your hands were metal, that would mean something.


  165. 165
    kubel

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (5:23 pm)

    If my Volt comes with a loudspeaker that plays sound, I’m unplugging it. The idea is ridiculous, and whoever came up with it is an idiot.

    I don’t mean to be insensitive, but the visually impaired don’t need loud noises in order to walk safely. That’s what “Blind person in area” signs are for- to alert drivers to be extra cautious. Rumble strips can also work very well for both driver and pedestrian. Trained leader dogs work very well, and the government can help people get them. And lets not forget the law- blind or not, only cross at a pedestrian crossing area. Being blind doesn’t mean you can jaywalk.

    Noise pollution is not the solution. Do not add noise makers to the Volt.


  166. 166
    Gary

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (5:32 pm)

    It would be nice to have the option of audible feedback to tell the driver how hard he’s pressing the accelerator. Maybe a pleasing-sounding hum if you mash the acceretator, and it disappears as the car gets to speed.


  167. 167
    Steve Poling

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (5:35 pm)

    Glenn Reynolds of instapundit.com suggested the Jetsons car sound and I’d like to second the notion.


  168. 168
    Adrian

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (5:35 pm)

    I want the car to sound like a Corvette. Give me the able to plug in WAV files to ‘pimp’ the car like most of us do our computer.


  169. 169
    John

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (5:41 pm)

    Can you make mine sound like the ice cream man. I want the plate anti-ice

    :)


  170. 170
    Exp_EngTech

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (5:44 pm)

    If I can’t find a Mattel “Vrroom” Motor to put under the hood of my Volt, I’ll just have to burn this sound to a CD…

    http://www.javelinamx.com/Batmobile/carstart.wav


  171. 171
    Doug

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (5:44 pm)

    I sincerely hope the Volt will save GM from their current financial problems.


  172. 172
    very impatient

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (5:44 pm)

    DOESN’T MUCH MATTER WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE OR HOW YOU FAKE THE TURNING IT ON, JUST GET IT TO THE FIELD AND STOP WASTING TIME AND MONEY!!!


  173. 173
    Joe

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (5:57 pm)

    If the price is still expected to be over $35K and near $40K, go only 40 miles on batteries and look like an uglified Honda, then my guess for the sound it makes is ‘thud’. Or whatever sound dust makes is it softly lands on the units in the showroom.

    I really wanted one of these and was ready to write the check in advance when they released the original prototype pictures. Then the price went up, the car got ugly and the battery-only range didn’t improve. By the time this hits the streets in 2012, 50 MPG isn’t going to be an amazing figure. The car would have to stand on its own and this one just doesn’t seem to do it. Sorry GM, nice try though.


  174. 174
    Xzlon

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (5:59 pm)

    Has anyone seen a statistic on how many blind people were killed by cars last year. I bet the number is so low it is nor even a tracked statistic.


  175. 175
    JLOZ

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (6:05 pm)

    A nice futurist hum would be awsome!Just enough to know its on


  176. 176
    Jeff

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (6:07 pm)

    Here is a sound bite from Mr. Lutz…should we be listening for some “stumbling”?

    “In the unlikely event that we were going to hit some huge stumbling block, we wanted the world to kind of see how we got to that stumbling block and what that stumbling block was. As it happens, luckily, we don’t seem to be encountering any stumbling blocks.”

    http://www.freep.com/article/20081028/BUSINESS06/810280355


  177. 177
    statik

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (6:20 pm)

    #176 Jeff

    Here is a sound bite from Mr. Lutz…should we be listening for some “stumbling”?

    “In the unlikely event that we were going to hit some huge stumbling block, we wanted the world to kind of see how we got to that stumbling block and what that stumbling block was. As it happens, luckily, we don’t seem to be encountering any stumbling blocks.”

    http://www.freep.com/article/20081028/BUSINESS06/810280355
    ———————————————-

    I posted a good chunk of the article in #143


  178. 178
    Hous Volt Pharteen

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (6:25 pm)

    I am pretty sure here in NYC we would welcome a silent car with open arms.. Who in hell need noise when you can have peace and quiet.


  179. 179
    Van

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (6:27 pm)

    There is only one sound appropriate to the problem. If someone comes into the cone of detection, 5 feet with the vehicle stopped, and 5 feet plus the stopping distance if the vehicle is moving, the sound should be simultaneous squealing tires and the horn sound of a Mack truck at 100 dB.


  180. 180
    Andrew

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (6:36 pm)

    I’ve driven on a lot of different roads all over the US. Engine noise always is drowned out be the volume of the noise from these sh*tty streets grinding against tires.

    On well or newly paved roads, modern cars are already quiet enough already that highly alert wild animals are constantly getting hit by them. I wish someone would solve that dangerous problem.


  181. 181
    ScaiacS

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (6:39 pm)

    Keep the Volt coming … ditch your editor!


  182. 182
    carlo d'angelo

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (6:45 pm)

    heres what you do, every volt will have an inexpensive transmitter that sends out an inaudible signal …………pedestrians will be required to wear a reciever that will pick up the frequency and start beeping at a pre set range………hence allerting the visually impaired well in advance. problem solved, get the car to market !


  183. 183
    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:13 pm)

  184. 184
    Bryan

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:13 pm)

    It would be nice if the Volt made it to market before the legislation was enacted so the first generation could be grandfathered in. I am also certain this feature will be hacked. I’ll be the first one to disconnect and remove the unnecessary speakers and reduce both my power consumption and weight in the process.


  185. [...] the article. Some of them make great points…others are just plain funny! Here’s the link… GM-VOLT : Chevy Volt Electric Car Site


  186. 186
    Minneapolis Matt

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:18 pm)

    The best one I read above was this and I seriously think GM should consider it: “The Volt should sound like George Jetson’s space car…” That would be hilarious.

    Creating a rough driving surface is a sound, practical idea for passive environmental noise but the secondary horn would be a great idea for active, though not blaring noise, would be helpful, hopefully at minimal incremental cost.


  187. 187
    Singing Highway

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:19 pm)

    California had a unique Singing Highway in the Southern California desert town of Lancaster. The Honda company cut grooves into the concrete on a stretch of road that played the tune of The William Tell Overture as motorists drove across it at about 55mph. (The theme of the 1950’s T.V. show, “The Lone Ranger.”)

    It was built for a television commercial but lasted only a short time because of noise complaints from nearby residents. The City decided it should be paved over.

    Since then more highways have been cut.

    Sounds like a nice soultion.


  188. 188
    canehdian

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:28 pm)

    Seriously, why are they wasting time/money on this crap?
    No one’s streets and tires are that perfect. Unless you’re driving like 2mph, your car will be heard. I can go to neutral and cut the engine and coast and still make a hell of a noise, even on the most perfect, freshly paved road.


  189. 189
    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:39 pm)

    “The sound of the car should be highly technical… like when on spaceship enterprise…”

    ____________________________________

    Something like this Mr. Weber?

    http://garfwod.250free.com/Volt_Primary%20%20and%20150%20HP%20Secondary%20Start.wav

    =D~


  190. 190
    Eric

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:43 pm)

    GM should probably spend less research time on the sounds the car should make and more time on how get rid of the gasoline motor this GM volt will have… And make it a truly Electric… Car.


  191. 191
    John Desmond

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:46 pm)

    All this is of course making the assumption that GM will be fortunate enough to hold off bankruptcy until it can introduce this car to the market.


  192. 192
    Joe OBrien

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:51 pm)

    Doubt something this dumb will be incorporated, but if so, we’ll just find a way to turn it off.


  193. 193
    JEC

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:51 pm)

    I think this would be a nice way to let someone know your coming…

    http://www.northalabamarailroadmuseum.com/484loco.wav

    Or..maybe a nice melody like this..
    http://www.northalabamarailroadmuseum.com/chatchoo.mid

    Ok, this is more visual than audio, but I love this one and it goes with the Volt theme. Maybe the Volt could use an equivalent “taser” to let you know its coming?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXiOQCRiSp0


  194. 194
    Steve

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (7:52 pm)

    I just don’t understand how a small company like Telsa can produce an all electric car that is capable of 250 miles on a charge and GM who is huge with almost unlimited resources can’t produce something with a little more range than what the Volt is projected. I don’t except 250 miles, granted the Telsa is a small light 2 seater, but far more than what they’re claiming. I’m still interested in getting one of these but hope by production they tweak it a bit.


  195. 195
    JEC

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:02 pm)

    On a sadder note, another side effect to GM’s closing of the Janesville, WI SUV plant. The ripple affect on this small Wisconsin town is devastating. The number of companies that are dependent upon the automotive plant in this town makes this a real economic problem.

    http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/33463524.html


  196. 196
    Eric the Midget

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:04 pm)

    I strongly desire the sound to be that of a queef…by which I mean a vaginal fart. Regards.


  197. 197
    JEC

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:07 pm)

    PDNFTT.


  198. 198
    Eric the Midget

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:11 pm)

    PFTT


  199. 199
    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:12 pm)

    hi Joe O’Brien # 192,

    “Doubt something this dumb will be incorporated, but if so, we’ll just find a way to turn it off.”

    _____________________________________

    http://garfwod.250free.com/2001foolprf.wav

    Then again, we could simply put a Carl Yastrzemski rookie card in the spokes.

    =D~


  200. 200
    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:20 pm)

    Will insurance companies offer an OnSound discount?

    I may really need a stress pill. Anyone have an extra Ativan?

    =D~


  201. 201
    Greg

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:20 pm)

    Here’s something funny – there was a google ad under the article on this page advertising the Obvio 828e from Zap. It’s funny because Zap killed that project a while ago but the ad still lives on. The link however doesn’t quite work anymore.

    This was the link:
    http://www.zapworld.com/electric-vehicles/electric-cars/obvio-828e


  202. 202
    Arch

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:20 pm)

  203. 203
    Sterling

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:29 pm)

    This sound, “Hi, I’m Billy Mays… Hi, I’m Billy Mays…. Hi, I’m Billy Mays” emitted from a large speaker mounted behind the grill, will effectively motivate the visually-impaired to run like Hell from the Volt.

    For people who can see, but can not hear very well, an image of Billy Mays holding a box of Oxi-Clean, projected onto the road (fore and aft) by a high-powered halogen video beam would encourage all others to leap away (at great velocity) from the Volt, thus depriving Personal Injury Attorneys an opportunity to sue GM and the actual driver/owner of the Volt.


  204. 204
    MW

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:33 pm)

    I think GM had better get the Volt in production in 2009, forget all these bells and whistles, lower the price and get the government to stay on course with clean energy. IF not, we will continue to decline as a country and GM will not exist.


  205. 205
    Dave

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:34 pm)

    It just needs to make a sound sooner than later… The iron is hot…people are finally ready to make he leap. Don’t make them wait too long… or the Volt and GM might both be out of business.


  206. 206
    JEC

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:35 pm)

    How about a large Schwanstucker to shoo people away?

    Would that work?

    “That’s Frank-ehn-steen!”


  207. 207
    Tom Harwick

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:59 pm)

    If the Tesla can get 250 miles per charge why does the Volt only get 40 miles per charge?
    Will the quality be better than Chevrolet? If not count me OUT!

    The sound? Should be a choice of three sounds one of which is silence.
    ————————————————————————————-
    They built the Tesla around a 250 mile battery. That is why it costs $100k to purchase, but only seats two people.

    GM wanted to build a car for average families. To sell for $37k, and seat 4 people, you only have room for a much smaller, much less expensive 40 mile battery.


  208. 208
    The Grump

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (8:59 pm)

    OK, Shut down the Volt Project. Yeah, shut it all down. They say blind people and children may be killed. Management says GM can’t afford the legal and liability issues. We’re closing all the Volt facilities and reassigning the staff. Yeah, it breaks my heart too. You should have seen the look on Bob Lutz’s face…
    ———————————————————————
    Bye bye, Volt. The ultra-libs have spoken. We gotta have gas powered cars, or blood will run in the streets.
    ——————————————————————–
    BTW, what kind of parent lets their loved and cherished children run wild in the streets without parental supervision ? If I was the judge, there would be two choices: Either 1) the parent allowed their child to ride their bike into traffic – reckless endangerment or 2) the parent wasn’t paying and attention to the child at all – child neglect.

    Neither case is the responsibility of the car driver. No court (except OJ’s) would convict a driver that hits a child that darts out into traffic without warning. It’s tragic, but children do stupid things – play with lighters or matches, play with daddy’s handgun, stick things into electric outlets, climb very high up and fall down, and , yes, they would happily play in traffic. They simply lack experience – keeping them safe while they learn is the parent’s responsibility.
    ———————————————————–
    And on the blind – It is not the taxpayer, or the car driver, who pays for the blind person’s medical supplies, medical bills, and vocational rehabilitation. Then why is it the driver who should pay for equipment to allow the blind to hear electric cars, while we have to put up with unwanted noise pollution ? The future of cars is electric – the blind have to deal with it. I like the ideas posted here, about a low cost short range transmitter in each EV. The higher cost of the receiver would be paid for by the blind person, who is the only person who needs to hear the EV coming. Everyone else better get used to looking – the future WILL be electric. Dwindling oil reserves will see to that.
    ————————————————————————-
    This whole thing reminds me of the liberals back in the 70′s and 80′s saying “we need to drink less soda and more heathful water”. So we did, and the market responded, with a vast variety of bottled water, flavored, carbonated, or just water. Now, liberals say it’s a crisis – all those water bottles added to the waste stream. Now, they whine about how we should drink tap water instead. Bottled water is purified by reverse osmosis and UV light. Too expensive for municipal water systems – they just dump in toxic chemi-kills like chlorine to clean up dirty river and reservoir water on the cheap. Oh yeah, they really have our best interests at heart – NOT !

    I support recycling liberals into enviromentally friendly products – who’s up for a soylent green energy bar – the wrapper is bio-degradable. (Yeah, I watch old movies, too).


  209. 209
    Woody Woodpecker

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:02 pm)

    I seem to remember someone at GM saying their goal with the ICE in the Volt is to have the driver NOT be aware of it running. Since the Volt is already the world’s most silent car, that means GM would like the ICE as silent as possible. The is bad news. We need the ICE to roar to life and show its strength by grunting and growling as its mighty forged pistons slam the crankshaft with powerful strokes of cylinder scraping music. To deny the driver the ability to harness one of his primal senses for his driving enjoyment is beyond comprehension. I do not want my Volt going down the highway sounding like a rubber ducky. They should do just the opposite, run the ICE normally and then make the Volt sound the same way when it is only on LG power, then it will always sound like a 1.4 liter monster with all those frightning ponies stuffed under the hood ready to be unleashed at any moment.


  210. 210
    Dan

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:33 pm)

    I would think I fairly silent car would be the way to go…and have cities do more for blind people. It’s really only an issue in a city.

    If there must be a noise…don’t make it annoyingly high pitched or whiny…maybe some kind of low hum…like the sound of a hover car just hovering.

    I just want this car to succeed. I have a BMW 335i convertible…and I’m actually thinking of turning it in for the volt…just on the coolness factor and the buy no gas from the middle east thing (i’m not a hippee either)…anyway, MUST GET IT DONE!!!


  211. 211
    Mke Lehan

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:34 pm)

    I don’t know about the Volt, but the sound of a Ford or Chrysler, or anything else will be the sound of ice cracking.

    Maybe you could make the Volt sound like a vacuum cleaner; sucking up money – not wasting it. It’s pretty futuristic – maybe it should sound like the Jetson’s space ship. It gonna be fast; maybe it should sound like a rifle shot!! In reality, it will sound like a space ship – very quiet (& fast).

    Can’t wait for 2010.

    Savoring speed & safety in Spokane.


  212. 212
    John Stewart

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:44 pm)

    Rattle and hum.


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    Stormchaser

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (9:55 pm)

    Whether the manufacturer provides it or not, the after-market will be flooded with sound systems having a whole range of sounds from the wannabe 50′s rumbles to the humorous to the spacey. The smarter automakers who build a car for the MP3/cell phone/gameboy set will soon equip their special rides with a speaker system built in and the ability to upload your own sounds. And noise pollution will spread from boom boxes inside the vehicles, to ultranoise on the outside. A new era of road rage and stress builders.


  214. 214
    Zach

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:08 pm)

    I don’t know the technology too well, so I’m going to assume a few things as well as stating my opinion regarding sound.

    Perhaps there can be something that can be attached at either the front or back wheels/axel that will generate sound as the wheels rotate.

    In my head, I’m thinking of a sound similar to when you take a bicycle and flip it upside down so that it’s laying on the seat and handle bars. When you rotate the peddles on the bike, the chain moves and the tires move, all creating sound. Personally, I’ve always liked the sound it makes.

    Because the RPM of a car will typically FAR exceed what would typically be generated from a bicycle (I’m thinking BMX style), perhaps instead of putting something at the wheels, put it in the engine and give it a base rotational speed that’s very low and as the accelerator is pushed, increase the RPM of that device.

    I’m certain that in either case, the device could NOT use enough power to criticize the operation of the vehicle.


  215. 215
    dylan

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:42 pm)

    i like the idea of a pedestrian frendly warning, i just love it when people honk at me when i am in the car but it is to loud walking in the parking lot


  216. 216
    stas peterson

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:46 pm)

    Has no one any common sense? The quiet auto is something that we should aspire to produce. For the relative handful of hearing and seeing impaired, we can launch an improvement, that might then spread to regular vehicles. Let a Volt emit a short distance radio signal which can notify a receiver for all impaired people than announces that a vehicle is coming at what speed and from what direction to the imapired and ONLY the impaired equipped with the appropriate receiver.

    The only people who get this info are the ones that need it. Everyone else is not bombarded with useless sirens or clanging street crossing signals.

    The receiver can give a signal audibly for the blind; visibly for the deaf; and by vibration for the both deaf and blind.

    What is the problem? Why not be creative?


  217. 217
    Grizzly

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (10:57 pm)

    What a crock! Walking through the parking lot of Target the other day the only way I knew a car was coming was through tire noise. I did not hear any kind of engine and the turning of the tires on parking lot asphalt was all I heard.

    A NON ISSUE!


  218. 218
    Lee Chambers

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:01 pm)

    I have an 07 Prius, and it’s silent unless you really step on the accelerator. You roll away silently from a stop. This lack of any alert to pedestrians, especially when backing up, IS an issue, as the car has blind spots and the driver can honestly believe no one’s behind him/her when they are. I recommend instrumental classical music, played softly enough to be unheard inside the car but clear both in front and behind the car, whenever the vehicle’s in operation, in gear, brake on, or moving under 5 mph. I don’t recommend loud, brash, obnoxious, music, any sort of voice singing, or any electronically -generated tones, chimes, or “alerts,” or giving any aftermarket access to changing the music. I would work hard to disable a faux-engine sound or whirring, buzzing, humming, or similar throwbacks to the machine age. The idea is to warn pedestrians of danger, not to anger them or scare them.


  219. 219
    Grizzly

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:04 pm)

    Statik # 87

    “Every year children and blind people are already dying on our streets, I cannot imagine the apocalyptical ramifications of the electric automobile. How did they ever get the first cars on the road at all?”

    *** *** **

    FYI the first cars on the road were electric. I can’t believe we are concerned with blind people evading rogue driving! When was the last time you heard a blind person say “I suspected that driver wasn’t all there and because of my hearing I was able to avoid the situation” ? This is ridiculous!


  220. 220
    billc

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:07 pm)

    GM engineers have already figured this out. I’ve driven the EV1 and that was a concern. GM has almost 5 to 10 years of extensive R&D for an electric vehicle.

    On an EV 1 car all you did was pull back on the turn signal stock and the horn would flutter. It was actually a very cool sound.
    Its up to the driver to drive defensively and protect pedestrians.


  221. 221
    Grizzly

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:19 pm)

    billc #220

    “Its up to the driver to drive defensively and protect pedestrians.”

    *** *** ***

    Of course it is unless you truly believe that blind people are at the mercy of the driving public. Just today I walked through the parking lot of Target and the only way I knew a car was coming was because of the tire noise, not the ICE, TIRE noise! So what does that say about people with an enhanced sense of hearing?? Case closed!


  222. 222
    Bill

     

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    Oct 28th, 2008 (11:43 pm)

  223. 223
    En Em

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (12:08 am)

    The pedestrian alert signal seems a good middle ground. This would be useful also for bikes riding in the bike lane. As a driver, I have 2 choices: blast or nothing. An “ahem” would be a nice feature.

    Barring that, the 3-phase traction motor is driven by a digitally-controlled inverter. It is possible to use the entire drivetrain as a speaker, by just modulating the motor phase voltage (there is a body of research on doing precisely this). And this is for free, hardware-wise. The smart thing to do would be to have the sound be present up to, say, 20MPH or so, then fade it out above that as the tire and air turbulence noises should provide enough of an auditory cue to bikes and pedestrians alike. If GM really wants to provide some audible feedback the car is ready to move, they could introduce a rumble-sounding modulation pattern when stopped. For me, a “power” or “ready” light is sufficient.

    As always, maximum flexibility to the owner (in the form of having the ability to disable these features) is appreciated and considered when making a purchase. Sometimes that one annoying “feature” that can’t be turned off makes the don’t-purchase decision easier.


  224. 224
    Jeff M

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (12:37 am)

    I know this is off topic but this seems to still be the active one, and I have not heard of this technology before…

    UPS has ordered series-hybrid delivery vehicles!!!! Except they aren’t series gasoline-electric hybrids…. they are series diesel-hydraulic hybrids!

    See http://www.evworld.com/news.cfm?newsid=19525


  225. 225
    Ed M

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (12:42 am)

    I think we should stick a cigarette on the front wheel so you can hear the volt coming when it hits the fender or maybe just drag about 10 cans from the rear bumper.


  226. 226
    Ed M

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (12:46 am)

    Statik # 87

    O.M.G. the sky is falling. BTW there’s a few more folks dying in the streets other children and the blind.

    I vote for J Man #1 (farting noise)


  227. 227
    Artur Nowak

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (2:11 am)

    How about a public contest for musicians and sound artists, to DESIGN the sound of Volt?

    The “horn” for pedestrians could be a very musical sound indeed.

    I’m sure everybody can recall the sound of Windows opening – it was composed by Brian Eno.


  228. 228
    Chris

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (3:08 am)

    I think this is the perfect application for “directional sound.” The idea would be to create a very small sound field focused around the car that only people within a given range can hear. That way you’re not adding unnecessary noise pollution to the environment.

    Google “audio spotlight” for some examples.


  229. 229
    Mike G.

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (4:43 am)

    Blind people should not be walking on the streets anyway, so who cares ?


  230. 230
    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (5:03 am)

    The whole idea of adding noise to a car is silly. The only thing that will leverage this madness along are greedy insurance companies charging more for “quiet” vehicles.

    Look at the future. We can have 20 quiet electric cars functioning on a street. Or we can have 20 eelctric cars that make assorted bee, humm, buzz, and vibration noises.

    Let’s not be so silly that we become stupid. Please.

    =D~


  231. 231
    bboaze

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (5:16 am)

    I hope GM will look at response 1, and consider that right now they may be using money and time to develop things which the first buyers of Volt have marginal interest in. I would favor a Ford Falcon-Model T type version released a year earlier. Maybe the government could help by protecting plug-in cars from some types of lawsuits.


  232. 232
    mike d troit

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (5:17 am)

    Two Words:
    Whistle Tips!
    Too bad there’s no ICE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccgXjA2BLEY


  233. 233
    Per J. Moller

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (5:18 am)

    After ten years of driving through the center of Copenhagen in my Citroen AX Electrigue I can assure you that an electric car don´t need to make noise. We have lot´s of bicyles and pedestrians on the roads and I have newer experianced any dangerous situations.
    The car has a “friendly” alert beep which can be activated by the driver, but it is seldom used.
    So don´t worry – the silence is one of the essential features which should not be destroid by silly artificial sounds.


  234. 234
    Walter Rittenhouse

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (6:23 am)

    The goal of modern society is to reduce polution including noise. Let’s make the Volt just as quiet as possible. A pleasant emergency alerter is a neat idea.


  235. 235
    Silence Desired

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (6:26 am)

    You guys spend HOW much money advertising how your combustion cars are QUIET, and now you’re thinking of ADDING NOISE? NO!

    The thing I LOVE about the hybrids I’ve ridden in is their SILENCE when in electric mode.

    Startup chimes are fine, BUT your better NOT be WASTING MONEY again trying to come up with 4 notes, like Microsoft did on Vista. What a complete freaking waste.

    And if you want to save money, the work’s been done for you in various SciFi movies… hell we’ve been waiting for a decent electric car long enough… people’s imaginations on what these things should do and sound like have already been prepared.


  236. 236
    carolyn

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (6:56 am)

    Let’s not hear about the Volt anymore. Let’s just see it. Get a move on GM. Start rolling them out!


  237. 237
    marc

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (7:40 am)

    Please, Just build and sell the damn car already.

    You know how I know the car will be on. the radio will be playing, the gauges will be lit and when I push the freeking pedal IT WILL MOVE.

    If someone walks out in front of me. Use the horn. or the brakes…

    Jeeze when did driving a car become such a hassle… Have we become that stupid/lazy…


  238. 238
    Karl

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (8:04 am)

    I am with Marc, just get me a car to Ontario Canada. The car will probably make as much noise as reading this email.


  239. 239
    Richard

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (8:33 am)

    ELMO

    “Enough, —- Let’s Move On”


  240. 240
    kohburn

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (8:55 am)

    this could easily be solved with a 5cent baseball card rubbing on the tires, no need for research or costly additional “features” . All I have to say is “stop making my car more expensive!”


  241. 241
    Andrew

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (8:56 am)

    I didn’t read all the comments, but the notion that the visually impaired will know what “the sound” a Volt makes means. This will be something new and I doubt everyone will know intuitivly “the sound” is a Volt.
    I also drive a motorcycle and the idea of rough roads is not appealing at all. I have found that even on smooth roads tires still make noise.
    In the end I think the proposed idea of a high tech noise is better. I think that better still is the option to be in control of “the sound”.


  242. 242
    Jim

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (9:12 am)

    Well, it definitely should not use verbal alerts as GM would have to make sure and include every possible language and dialect in the world. Since we have become so consumed with political correctness and the such, it would be unfair to put it in English or Spanish only. Besides, by the time you hear “Press 364 for Farsi” you would have already run them over.

    Come on, the world is changing and people are going to have to change too and be on the lookout. Jeez.


  243. 243
    Toysrme

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (9:15 am)

    I think the Volt should have buttons on the roof, on the inside of course, like a lights and sounds toy to allow the driver to select the sound he or she wishes to use. It’s also important that the Volt has a “beep” beep” “beep” sound when it’s in reverse.


  244. 244
    Jason

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (9:27 am)

    Yeah, I don’t really care about the sound so much as the performance of the car. Although it is kind of funny to think about a lot of the movies that take place in the future, most of their cars make a strange hi-pitched humming noise. Who can forget the Jetson’s how hilarious would be to be standing on the side of the road and someone in their new Volt drives by and hits there pedestrian alert system and it sounds like George’s bubble car. I think I would keel over.


  245. 245
    Volt Enthusiast

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (9:29 am)

    The only sound I’m interested in….is…..the sound the car will make when it passes by all those gas stations!!!! Can I get an, AMEN!??? LOL


  246. 246
    Grizzly

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (9:42 am)

    Per J. Moller Says: #233

    We have lot´s of bicyles and pedestrians on the roads and I have newer experianced any dangerous situations.
    The car has a “friendly” alert beep which can be activated by the driver, but it is seldom used.
    So don´t worry – the silence is one of the essential features which should not be destroid by silly artificial sounds.

    *** *** ***

    Amen!


  247. 247
    nathan

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (9:58 am)

    I always pictured it sounding like KITT on Knight Rider


  248. 248
    Milton

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (10:11 am)

    I was getting my VW serviced next to a Toyota dealership. While waiting outside a woman came out, got into a Prius and just drove away. I thought “‘How cool, I did not even hear it start!” It sort of sounded like a golf cart though as it drove away.

    Let’s not turn the sound of the car into the phones of today. Something simple.

    Also, I want this car to be cheaper than I have read about. 40K?


  249. 249
    D Cook

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (10:18 am)

    I think this is a non issue. I have a new pickup powered by ICE and when standing next to it the only audible sound is the air sucked through the radiator by the fan. Many times in parking lots I have surprise someone by driving up to where they were standing and was within feet before they even detected my truck. So if ICE vehicles can be so quiet, are they too subject to a potential requirement of artificial noise?


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    Cal

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (11:38 am)

    We already have enough noise with those Harley’s you can hear from 5 miles away.

    Quiet is a good thing. Someone should make an electric Harley!


  251. 251
    Grizzly

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (1:32 pm)

    Anyone who lives just a few blocks from a major highway or secondary road knows that the noise you hear is tire noise. This won’t change with EVs, why is it that everyone thinks what people hear is the engine? I’m baffled by that.


  252. 252
    BOB GRATON

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (1:41 pm)

    Pourquoi ne pas utiliser des batteries lithium métal polymère?
    http://www.bollore.com/

    Pourquoi la Chevy Volt n’est-elle pas commercialisée avant 2010?

    La France et le Japon sont beaucoup plus en avance sur la technologie des voitures électriques.

    Le projet de voiture électrique initié par Bolloré a trouvé un nouvel élan depuis un partenariat signé avec Pininfarina fin 2008. Un nouveau véhicule doté d’un nouveau design élaboré par Pininfarina a été dévoilé lors du Mondial de l’Automobile en octobre 2008.

    http://www.avem.fr/vehicule-electrique-bollore-pininfarina-b0-ex-bluecar-5.html

    Actuellement testée au Japon par TEPCO, sa commercialisation au Japon est prévue mi-2009 pour les flottes et en 2010 pour le grand public. La voiture électrique sera vendu entre 25000 et 30000$. Mitsubishi envisage également de commercialiser sa voiture en Europe à condition que la demande soit suffisante.
    http://www.avem.fr/video-181-mitsubishi-i-miev-discours-de-tetsuro-aikawa-a-new-york.html

    Tank you to read me

    Bob


  253. 253
    Jax

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (1:45 pm)

    For a start up sound, GM could take a cue from Apple, or better yet, dig out that old copy of “Ghostbusters” and use the sound for powering up their backpacks. Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. : )


  254. 254
    Trial Lawyer

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (1:51 pm)

    #203 is the best idea yet. No way someone (blind, deaf or stupid) would step into the path of a Volt by incorporating idea #203.


  255. 255
    MAX BRADEY

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (2:43 pm)

    i AM A BABY BOOMER AND HAVE PUT ASIDE THE MONEY TO BUY A NEW VOLT WHEN THEY ARE AVAILABLE. HAVING THOUGH CAREFULLY ABOUT IT……I HAVE DECIDED I WOULD LIKE THE NEW CHEVY VOLT TO MAKE THE SAME SOUND AS MY ALL TIME FAVORITE GM VEHICLE…….MY FIRST NEW CHEVY WAS A 1963 MODEL CHEVY IMPALA WITH 409 MUSCLE V8 ENGINE……I SET UP THE EXHAUST WITH “CUT OUTS” TO ALLOW THE FULL NASCAR RUMBLE OUT………SO I REQUEST MY VOLT DUPLICATE THIS LONG GONE………SADLY MISSED MUSCLE CAR EFFECT……..ANY BLIND FOLKS WITHIN 5 MILES WILL CERTAINLY HEAR IT COMING!!! MAX BRADEY


  256. 256
    MJ

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (3:29 pm)

    The sounds a GM Volt makes should be few. Only when a confirmation or safety issue is detected such as the cars of today. Seat belt reminder, door ajar, etc. Don’t ruin my experience with un-necessary noises. I turn off the shutter sound on my digital camera for the same reason. It’s not needed to make it work. Nor does it provide any useful purpose other than to make someone think they have an old 35mm SLR camera in their hands. I vote for a quiet feedback as the new approach to vehicle behavior and only warning sounds for emergencies like those heard in the cockpit of modern jet aircraft.


  257. 257
    DaveP

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (3:36 pm)

    I’m still rooting for using all that battery power for a killowatt stereo system. Then everyone will be able to hear the car, except for the people inside; they won’t be able to hear at all, anymore. :)
    Still, it would be way cool.


  258. 258
    Narg

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (3:43 pm)

    IT SHOULD BE QUIET!!!!!!!!!

    :)


  259. 259
    LyleL

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (4:23 pm)

    If there is going to be an external sound system… then I would like to add my own sound file to the security system so instead of the annoying beep beep of a horn, It would play a voice saying “security enabled” or “security disabled”. Again I would be responsible for the sound file… just make the system accept the sound file from a USB memory stick or whatever memory technology.

    I like my cars to be intelligent or at least sound that way.


  260. 260
    John Paul

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (4:36 pm)

    Noise pollution is a real problem in cities. This “what sound will it make” could easily turn into something similar to ring tones for cell phones. Could you imagine the horror of every car passing by making some cutesy or obnoxious sound? argh.
    Deer whistles which sit on the hood or grill have been in use in rural areas for many years to alert deer to oncoming cars. Can’t the Volt just employ these or something similar?


  261. 261
    Your True Friend

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (4:51 pm)

  262. 262
    Mark Z

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (5:41 pm)

    If the ICE is charging at full throttle while the vehicle is barely moving in the mall parking lot, imagine how that will confuse the blind!

    GM is correct to address the issue of developing a sound standard for E-REV operation. Lawyers will be first to attack the car if the pedestrian injury rate is higher for E-REV than ICE only vehicles.


  263. 263
    Mike

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (6:46 pm)

    Duh
    This is the internet. And YES sound can be played on the internet.
    Rather than talking about the sound the VOLT will make, why not just have a SOUND FILE of the sound!!


  264. 264
    Bill

     

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    Oct 29th, 2008 (6:56 pm)

    Forget the sound, how are they going to heat the car in the winter and cool it in the summer?


  265. 265
    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 30th, 2008 (4:58 am)

    How about a continual digital loop of Boy George singing “Do you really want to hurt me?”.

    Or maybe a fuzz tone for the “pleasant horn” sound?
    http://garfwod.250free.com/Octave%20with%20fuzz.mp3

    =D~


  266. 266
    Kevin

     

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    Oct 30th, 2008 (6:02 am)

    Ponder these things…

    Why are the hearing impaired made to be the scapegoats of the hearing?

    Why do upper class vehicles tout a noiseless interior?

    Could it be that a noiseless vehicle severely threatens those who cannot build one?

    I for one welcome a roar-less world!


  267. [...] a driver-activated “pedestrian-friendly alert” to the Chevy Volt. The Star Trek-like (seriously) noisemaker would be turned on and off manually it seems. Of course, the Volt will indeed have an [...]


  268. 268
    Concerned Citizens

     

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    Oct 30th, 2008 (10:26 am)

    If they are going to make it have an external sound it should be user programmable. That way one car can sound like a spaceship and another can sound like a Corvette, or you could just make it scream “Get off the road!” This would be great in rush hour traffic, instead of a bunch of horns you would have cars yelling at each other.


  269. [...] intend to add a driver-activated “pedestrian-friendly alert” to the Chevy Volt. The Star Trek-like (seriously) noisemaker would be turned on and off manually it seems. Of course, the Volt will indeed have an [...]


  270. [...] intend to add a driver-activated “pedestrian-friendly alert” to the Chevy Volt. The Star Trek-like (seriously) noisemaker would be turned on and off manually it seems. Of course, the Volt will indeed have an [...]


  271. [...] intend to add a driver-activated “pedestrian-friendly alert” to the Chevy Volt. The Star Trek-like (seriously) noisemaker would be turned on and off manually it seems. Of course, the Volt will indeed have an [...]


  272. [...] alert” to the Che&#118y Volt. &#84he Star &#84re&#107-l&#105&#107e (s&#101riously) n&#111is&#101mak&#101r &#119&#111uld b&#101 &#116urn&#101d &#111n and &#111ff manually i&#116 [...]


  273. [...] to­ the Chevy Vo­l­t. The S­tar­ Tr­ek-l­ike (se­r­i­ousl­y) n­­oise­mak­e­r would be­ t­urn­­e­d [...]


  274. 274
    John Rowell

     

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    Oct 30th, 2008 (11:37 am)

    How about posting the mp3? I’d like to know what it sounds like! And secondly, not to be insensitive, but rather than making noises why not put a small radio transmitter on the car and give the blind people a receiver that makes a sound when the car is nearby. That might actually be safer since it doesn’t depend on the driver’s action. Everyone else would be able to see the car approaching and that would be sufficient.


  275. 275
    N Riley

     

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    Oct 30th, 2008 (12:05 pm)

    Any sound GM provides will be changeable by the owner, I bet. Should be an interesting feature.


  276. [...] a driver-activated “pedestrian-friendly alert” to the Chevy Volt. The Star Trek-like (seriously) noisemaker would be turned on and off manually it seems. Of course, the Volt will indeed have an [...]


  277. 277
    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 31st, 2008 (4:53 am)

    hi Concerned Citizens #268,

    “…external sound it should be user programmable…it scream “Get off the road!”

    _______________________

    If we go with the interchangeable “pedestrian-friendly alert”, we’ll need district appropriate sound files. For example, the NY City version will be, “Hey Lard azz, get the ‘ell otta da’ way!”.

    NPNS =D~


  278. [...] Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments CommentSubscribe Comments Leave a Comment Below » Your Name [...]


  279. 279
    Saul

     

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    Oct 31st, 2008 (11:24 am)

    The best solution is to turn up your audio system, open your windows and sing your heart out.


  280. 280
    Dante

     

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    Oct 31st, 2008 (2:46 pm)

    Hearing and visually impaired citizens aren’t the only ones with this risk. Last time I drove downtown, half the people I saw walking around had their iPlods on (now they’re deaf), or they were on the cellphone (deaf in one ear, not listening in the other), or they were reading the paper or texting someone (so basically blind).

    People walk out in front of cars regardless of how much noise they make. My bike makes a LOT of noise… people still walk out in front of me (and I get to swerve to miss them).

    If some idiotic legislature requires “noisemakers” on electric cars, I will RIP MINE OFF. Last thing cities need is more noise pollution. Most modern 4-bangers are so quiet you can’t hear their engines as they idle down city streets anyway. As was mentioned, the wind noise and tire noise is plenty.


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    Mike

     

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    Oct 31st, 2008 (6:53 pm)

    I agree that currently most of the noise comes from tires and wind.

    However, from what I’ve read this car has had special tires designed for it that cut rolling resistance. My guess is that a tire with lower rolling resistance will produce at least a little less noise. This car is also very aerodynamic I’m sure. And again, the more aerodynamic it is the less wind noise it will make.

    I don’t know how significant those reductions in noise will be. But, its something to think about.


  282. 282
    Jeff

     

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    Nov 1st, 2008 (12:38 am)

    Vroom Tones will be the next ringtones. Some of the older crowd does like the silence but almost every young person I have spoken with (I am in college) has said they would love to customize the sound of their electric car / hybrid.
    My wife wants her car to sound like horse trotting, clip-clop
    Downloading a Vroomtone could be a big money maker for GM.

    Nissan and Shai Agassi are already capitalizing on this idea with their trademarked “Drivetones”.

    Hope that GM is smart enough to at least capitalize on the younger more techno geek crowd.


  283. 283
    Rick

     

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    Nov 1st, 2008 (9:02 pm)

    Maybe all Volts should come standard with 2-15″ subwoofers. That’ll also help people that are deaf AND blind. They could FEEL you coming.

    I think this noise thing is stupid. I like response #2 from Nuclearboy. The road itself makes the noise for ALL cars. I can’t hear ICE engines on the road now anyway and I haven’t been hit yet!

    Gimme a break!


  284. 284
    D LO

     

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    Nov 1st, 2008 (9:59 pm)

    #280 Dante

    All very valid points. The last thing necessary is legislation. If GM wants to include as an option, with selectable tones, I suppose that is fine (assuming the volume can be regulated & not tampered).

    I just want mine to make that cool swooshy noise that Kit used to make on Knight Rider (maybe still does–I don’t watch it).


  285. 285
    Dave K.

     

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    Nov 3rd, 2008 (5:57 am)

  286. [...] which seems to be a good idea. Whether or not the driver uses it is another discussion. GM-VOLT : Chevy Volt Electric Car Site


  287. 287
    Volt Enthusiast

     

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    Nov 3rd, 2008 (10:04 am)

    I don’t care if it sounds like a freaking ice cream truck coming down the road. If I don’t have to stop at gas stations……that could be my merry little music to let everyone know I’m passing by! LMAO


  288. 288
    Don Wilson

     

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    Nov 5th, 2008 (8:34 pm)

    Give me a choice!! V-4, V-8, V-10, V-12, F1 racer, NASCAR, Ferrari, Spaceship Enterprise…. Add fake tail pipes with loud speakers.


  289. 289
    Skip Willen

     

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    Nov 7th, 2008 (8:28 pm)

    It doesn’t make any difference what noise it makes if it is not economical enough to flood the highway with them. The latest figure that I have heard is that they hope to come to market between $30 and $40K. Most people that I talk to think that these new estimates will give way to even pricer ones before this product makes it to the market. That is $20K to $30K more than a traditional gasoline powered automobile (that can get as much as 30 or 40 miles to the gallon). We can buy a lot of gas for $20 thousand not to mention the extra cost for electricty and new batteries.


  290. 290
    buzzkill

     

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    Nov 9th, 2008 (12:22 pm)

    At 40k the only sound this car is going to make is a giant sucking noise as your cash reserves are unnecessarily depleted, and liquidity is further strained. Maybe a bailout??? Long live “der diesel-motor”!


  291. 291
    Vroom

     

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    Nov 25th, 2008 (1:03 pm)

    Ready…. Set….Gooooooooooo!!!!!

    Im waiting for the VOLT, so we can help bail out GM.
    GM needs to get this car out fast….!!
    Can’t wait to see it in the showrooms.!
    Toyota….EAT CROW!!!

    VROOM!!!
    PS any Diesel/Electric hybrid thoughts?????
    PSS Don’t pay attention to whiners……


  292. 292
    Michael

     

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    Mar 2nd, 2009 (8:33 pm)

    I think the safety of Blind people is important.

    It’s not enough to say ‘Blind people should be more careful’ that’s not a solution.

    Even other people who just aren’t paying attention, it happens to everyone.

    Humans depend on sound for survival, a silent car is unnatural. So it’s the car that needs to be made safe for humans, not the other way around.

    Anyway, this car looks awesome. They should make it talk, like KITT.

    Volt: “Michael, there is a Blind person crossing in front of us, shall I slow down?”

    Michael “Hit the turbo boost!”


  293. [...] [Source: GM-Volt.com] [...]


  294. 294
    EVO

     

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    Jul 17th, 2009 (3:58 pm)

    You mean like in this already in production electric vehicle?

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/green/?p=6096


  295. 295
    carguy

     

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    Oct 10th, 2009 (8:48 pm)

    Wow, I can already see where this is going to go, cars that are too loud getting ticketed for that, now we’re going to get ticketed for car not making any noise. Wow.