Silence is one of the wonderful things about EVs – until you get blindsided by one at a crosswalk. Recognizing the danger that silent-running vehicles pose to cyclists and pedestrians, governments around the world have mandated that EVs emit warning sounds, and most automakers now incorporate some sort of virtual engine sound into their EVs and hybrids.
Audi has long paid close attention to the way their vehicles sound, and employs a team of acoustical engineers to ensure that their vehicles’ sound signatures evoke performance and premium quality. “Good sound design is a complex endeavor,” said Dr. Ralf Kunkel, Audi’s Head of Acoustics. “We have gathered a lot of expertise over the years. We have also learned how to amplify pleasant frequencies and to suppress unpleasant noises.”
Audi’s future e-tron EVs will feature a synthetic sound signature, which the company’s audio team developed using a complex software-based process. Dr. Lars Hinrichsen explains: “Data relating to the electric motor’s rotational speed, vehicle speed, loads, and other parameters is continuously supplied by the vehicle to the control unit. It then uses this data to generate sound.”