Toyota City, Japan – Toyota will sell a new onboard noise-making device for the Prius in Japan, intended to alert pedestrians to the presence of a vehicle running quietly on battery power. The device will go on sale at the end of August and is intended for the third-generation Prius hybrid.
The device automatically emits a synthesized sound of an electric motor when the Prius operates in electric mode at speeds of up to 25 km/h. The sound, aimed to alert but not annoy, rises and falls in pitch relative to the vehicle’s speed, helping indicate its proximity and movement.
Toyota plans other versions of the device for plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles and fuel-cell hybrid vehicles planned for launch.