Toyota Prius May Add Noisemaker for Pedestrians

2011 Toyota Prius noisemaker for pedestrians
One of the benefits of owning a hybrid or electric vehicle has always been its advertised whisper-quiet performance. Apparently, the eerie silence has ruffled the feathers of safety advocates, so now that bit of electric-vehicle distinctiveness may be scuttled. 

The third-generation Toyota Prius will get an optional pedestrian warning system in Japan and possibly in the U.S. down the line, according to The Associated Press. The onboard device will automatically produce an artificial sound, supposedly an amplified and synthesized reproduction of the noise an electric motor makes – go figure. The noise is activated at speeds below 15 mph, and it fluctuates in pitch relative to the vehicle’s speed, which is supposed to help pedestrians gauge proximity in relation to the hybrid. You can watch the distinctively Japanese video below to get a better understanding. 

The system is a dealer-installed option in Japan that costs about $148, and Toyota may offer the system in the U.S. and other markets, Toyota spokeswoman Monika Saito told the AP. Japan gets the system now because of a recent regulation that requires some sort of pedestrian noisemaker option in near-quiet vehicles. Similar legislation has been brought up in the U.S. 

The Chevrolet Volt will come with a pedestrian warning system that’s activated from one of the steering-wheel stalks. GM goes with a chirping alert that’s activated only at low speeds. Nissan recently showed off a system in the Leaf that’s similar to Toyota’s; their alerts seem like sound effects from alien spacecraft in sci-fi movies. The future is now I guess.

Prius Gets Sound Option to Protect Pedestrians (The Associated Press)




You guys did not mention about the noise cancellation for the driver that was in the video. Some people that I know of buys the hybrid because of that reason alone.


I vote for the Jaws theme.

da dum da dum da dum


I think Celine Dions song for Titanic might make the pedestrians move faster.


Just driving a Hemi or a Cummins would solve the problem.

I like your blog and such a useful information sharing. I appreciate your blog and thanks for that.

That's may be a good news for the people who prefer to drive it in noisy. But I don't like to buy such noisy one. Your video also tells about a better impression on noisy drive.

Ford Owner

Have the sound from a Formula 1 car in this. Program the sound from a particular racetrack and play that continuously at speeds below 10 miles an hour.
Just think about it...the sound of 2.4 liter V8 engines running at 18,000 RPM (No that is NOT a typo, I said 18,000 RPM) and shifting through a 7 speed manual transmission.

If you are having the Electric motor then why you need to generate an artificial sound as there are already horn to alert the pedestrians which can be used for that purpose.

It was bound to happen; the Prius has become mainstream. It is now a vehicle that needs to stand on its real merits rather than the merits of its brand. This is good. The technology is compelling and will make for interesting appliance cars and trucks. I personally would love to have one of the new GM hybrid pickups to tow race cars and take me camping.

Well, don't know where u guys live, but if you were driving in the city.. it's really necessary(especially when it's raining).

To, Heathrow,
well.. if you horn someone behind the back.. someone might shoot you..

If u experience driving in the city or where there's many people around(when driving in low speed), you'll see why it's necessary.

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