Increased electric vehicle adoption means rising need for safety features

Further expanding clean air zones will increase the demand for electric vehicles and hybrids, but the industry needs to address the dangers of low noise associated with electric powertrains.

Tony Bowen, LCV project manager at Brigade Electronics, told delegates at Freight in the City 2017 : “We have to understand how dangerous an unseen and unheard slow moving vehicle can be to vulnerable road users – small children, people with restricted eyesight, those of old age, etc.

“Drivers that drive electric vehicles are aware of the problem. Owners and managers of companies have a responsibility to provide drivers of these vehicles with the ability to reduce risk among these vulnerable road users.”

He said that Brigade had reacted to EU Regulation 138 – which has led to its Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System and will be introduced from 1 July 2019.

“What are we doing about this impending regulation? Using our industry expertise we have developed the quite vehicle sounder… increased frequency and amplitude as the vehicle speeds up, mimicking the behaviour of a combustion engine.

“It operates from 0-12mph (20kms) above 20kms, then tyre noise and wind noise takes over.”

Pre-production of its Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System begin from November 2017 with production units available for operation by the end of Q1 2018.