Volvo Trucks adds unique sounds to its electric trucks

May 28 | 2021

Ever mindful of safety, Volvo Trucks has developed an acoustic alert system with unique sound effects for its electric trucks so that pedestrians, cyclists and other road users can hear them coming.

Anna Wrige Berling, Traffic and Product Safety Director at Volvo TrucksThankfully, unlike the irritating robot-like electronic warnings emitted by older vehicles, for example when reversing, Volvo has been careful to make sure the sounds are pleasant to listen to both for the driver and the public.

The sounds are also designed to not penetrate through walls, to allow for quiet night-time deliveries and contribute to better working conditions.

From 1 July, 2021 all new electric vehicles in the EU will be required to emit a certain sound level when travelling at speeds below 20 kph. The sound level required depends on the speed and gets higher as it increases. At the maximum speed of 20 kph it should be at least 56 decibels. The US has similar legislation for vehicles when driving 30 kph or slower. If the vehicle is too quiet, an external acoustic vehicle alerting system (AVAS) must be added.

Anna Wrige Berling, Traffic and Product Safety Director at Volvo Trucks said, “We truly welcome this new legislation. From when we were children, we have learnt to rely not only on what we see, but also what we hear in traffic – sometimes so much so that we don’t even look before crossing a street! With our new alert system, we want to help ensure that pedestrians and cyclists notice when they are close to our electric trucks.”

Volvo FM Electric Truck

The Volvo developed acoustic alert system is actually not just one but four different sounds, informing people close by about what the truck is doing: moving forward, idling, reversing, etc. The sounds will vary in intensity, based on truck speed and will shift in frequency during acceleration and deceleration.

Photos: Anna Wrige Berling, Traffic and Product Safety Director at Volvo Trucks;

the Volvo FM Electric Truck.