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Audi is developing an artificial engine noise for a revolutionary new electric sports car that will sound just like the futuristic vehicle Will Smith drove in blockbuster sci-fi movie I, Robot.

The aim is to warn pedestrians of the approach of the otherwise-silent vehicle.

Audi’s ‘brum, brum durch technic’ synthetic car-sound strategy comes as campaigners at Guide Dogs for the Blind this week called for all electric cars to be fitted with similar warning noises to reduce the risk of accidents.

Guide Dogs for the Blind’s access manager, Carol Thomas, said: ‘We recognise the environmental benefits of electric and hybrid vehicles.

However, they are virtually silent and blind and partially sighted people rely on vehicle sound to assist with their mobility and orientation.’

The German car giant is now going back to the sounds used in the fictional RSQ car it created for the film with a view to using it on its real-life £120,000 E-Tron electric supercars, set to enter production in 2012.

An Audi spokesman said: ‘Electric cars are virtually silent at speeds of up to 15mph. We hope to create an “engine note” to reflect the futuristic nature of these cars. The risk to other road users of cars cruising the streets in near silence is obvious.’

The work is being spearheaded by Audi’s head of acoustics Dr Ralf Kunkel. Rival Nissan has announced that its Leaf will have an onboard warning system and in Japan, Toyota’s Prius will have a similar feature.

source: dailymail

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