An influence of characteristics of amplitude fluctuation on detectability of alert sound of electric powered vehicles



The motor sound on electric powered vehicle is quiet at low speeds. Thus, pedestrians have difficulty detecting the vehicles approaching them under urban noise. Although the vehicles were designed to play an alert sound to solve this problem, it has not been solved yet. Our previous studies found that characteristics of amplitude fluctuation, fluctuation frequency, non-periodic fluctuation and amplitude envelope, are effective to make them detect approaching vehicles. However, those studies were investigated under only a specific actual environment, weren’t examined validity of detectability in those studies. Here, this paper investigates under another actual environment, examine the validity. Investigations were carried out by using synthesized complex sounds which were designed to have periodic and non-periodic amplitude fluctuations. Those complex sounds have characteristics of amplitude fluctuations in gasoline powered vehicle. Amplitude envelopes such as modulation wave in amplitude-modulated sound were set for deviations for time and amplitude, and amplitude-modulated complex sounds were synthesized using sine wave, sawtooth wave, and rectangle wave. Then, their effects on detectability by pedestrians were assessed in another actual environment. The results found that amplitude fluctuation enhances the ability with which people detect approaching electric powered vehicles in case of some complex sound.