Karma and ECCO Safety Group engineer synthetic engine sound


Karma Automotive and ECCO Safety Group have developed an exterior sound for its 2020 Revero GT.  Due to the absence of a loud internal combustion engine, a noise was required to alert distracted pedestrians that a car is nearby.

Joe Durre, director of infotainment systems and connected car for Karma, said: “It’s a sound that is uniquely ‘Karma’ and that our customers instantly recognize when the car is powered and driven at low speeds,”

The tone could also be customizable in future products, including vehicles that grow from Karma’s Project e-Klipse, a global all-electric vehicle platform being readied for 2021.

The development of the running noise satisfies a mandate in the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010 establishing a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) to allow manufacturers of hybrid and electric vehicles to install a number of driver-selectable pedestrian alert sounds.

The FMVSS is setting minimum sound requirements for electric and hybrid vehicles given the relatively silent nature of electrified vehicles – particularly when traveling at low speeds.

Exterior sounders developed by ECCO safety systems are placed in the front and rear of the Revero GT and emit a speed dependent sound spectrum at specific sound pressure level depending on the speed.

When powered up and stationary or traveling forward or reverse below 30km/h, the Revero emits the specifically crafted sound loud enough to help alert people that a moving vehicle is nearby.


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Sam joined the UKi Media & Events automotive team in 2017, having recently graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in journalism. For the newest addition to the editorial team, stepping into the assistant editor position signalled the start of a career in the subject he studied. In addition to his work on UKi’s automotive titles, Sam also contributes to Stadia, writing content for the magazine and website.

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