Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

What Should A Hybrid Sound Like?

Hybrid cars are feared for their silent, stealthy approach - in parking lots and on city streets. No one has been hurt, but that doesn't keep worry warts everywhere (not to mention trial lawyers) from thinking about it.

What sound should a silent electric car make?


(Quiet hybrid video)

Lotus, the maker of fine racing cars, thinks it has the answer.

Its ideas division, which works with other manufacturers, has used a Toyota Prius to synthesise the sound of a traditional engine which is then emitted through a loudspeaker mounted near the radiator.

It projects a realistic engine sound ahead of the car when it is running solely in electric mode and the sound changes depending on speed and throttle. The driver cannot hear any of the additional noise.

One of the people who commented on the original article opined "Wait ten years. Young louts will have electric cars with GIANT speakers. True, the cars will only get a mile per charge but that won't be the point, will it?" Then, the problem will be scaring the blind half to death, along with the rest of us.

Actually, I think this is a rather unimaginative approach. Now, what should a car sound like?

Fred Flintstone's feet?

How about the Jetson's car?

Do hybrid cars simply materialize next to you in a parking lot? How about a sound like the Star Trek transporter?

Update 11-May-2009: Found it! A reader left a comment that was almost right. In his 1985 novel The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, science fiction Grandmaster Robert Heinlein describes a replica Model T that is powered silently, but has a distinctive sound. See the entry for car sound tape. And thanks to reader Rod who almost had it, putting me on the right track. End update.

From Mail on Sunday; thanks to Moira for the tip on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/13/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 15 )

Related News Stories - (" Transportation ")

San Francisco Autobus
'THE autobus turned silently down the wide street...' - Stanley G. and Helen Weinbaum, 1938.

Volvo's Autonomous Truck
'They were automatic trucks such as are used for making deliveries...' - Miles J. Breuer, 1932.

Eviation Alice Electric Plane First Flight
'A white electric plane approached at great speed...' - Charles Cloukey, 1930.

Robotaxi By Cruise Premieres in Austin, Texas
'... he settled back in a robotaxi and the brilliant lights of the streets flashed past.' - Joe Gibson, 1953.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

SliceIt! Why Not Teach Robots To Use Knives?
'One building now gushed forth smoke and another stench that was unmistakable.'

NYC/Dublin Portal Fails To Meet 'Guardian Of Forever' Standards
I am the Guardian of Forever.

FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
'The low-slung monorail car, straddling its single track, bored through the shadows on a slowly rising course.'

Singapore Writers Push Back On LLM Training
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

The FLUTE Project - A Huge Liquid Mirror In Space
'It's area, and its consequent light-gathering capacity, was many times greater than any rigid mirror...'

Robot Preachers Found To Undermine Religious Commitment
'Tell me your torments,' the Padre said, in an elderly voice marked with compassion.

CyberCab - Tesla Renames The Robotaxi
'A cybercab dogged their heels...'

SpaceHopper Microgravity Robot Lands On Its Feet
'...a slender-legged tripod surmounted by a spherical body no larger than a football.'

Brin's 1990 Novel Earth Still Full Of Predictions
'... making the point that their likenesses, every move they made, were being transmitted.'

'Whisper Mode' ala Blue Thunder Researched At Bristol
'Forest Lawn.'

Gaia - Why Stop With Just The Earth?
'But the stars are only atoms in larger space, and in that larger space the star-atoms could combine to form living matter, thinking matter, couldn't they?'

Microsoft VASA-1 Creates Personal Video From A Photo
'...to build up a video picture would require, say, ten million decisions every second. Mike, you're so fast I can't even think about it. But you aren't that fast.'

Splendid View Of Eclipse From Orbit Visualized And Repurposed By Arthur C. Clarke
'The area affected was five hundred kilometres across, and perfectly circular.'

Bespoke Environment Music From AIs
'Call 'em Winter Mute," said the other, making it two words.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.