Karma Automotive Develops Unique Sound of Silence
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- ECCO Safety Group Partnership Creates Audible Warning Technology and Karma Brand Sound
- Sound Alert Technology Helps Keep Distracted Pedestrians Safe
- Future Options Could Allow Owners to Customize Their Karma Sound
IRVINE, Calif. (September 20, 2019) – Due to the absence of a loud internal combustion engine, a unique exterior sound has been engineered into the new 2020 Revero GT to alert distracted pedestrians that a car is nearby and provide the luxury electric vehicle with a special audible technology unique to the brand that created it.
Sound engineers at Southern California-based luxury electric automaker and high-tech incubator Karma Automotive developed their low-speed exterior audible sound in partnership with ECCO Safety Group, a global leader in safety and warning products based in Boise, Idaho.
Karma’s Director of Infotainment Systems and Connected Car, Joe Durre described the Revero GT’s exterior sound as a low-level, throaty-electric hum, like electronic audio tones heard in many futuristic movies or when an electric guitar is first plugged into an amplifier.
“It’s a sound that is uniquely Karma that our customers instantly recognize when the car is powered and driven at low speeds,” he explains. “Our sound alerts pedestrians that a car is nearby, something that is especially helpful for those who may be distracted, blind or visually-impaired, and gives our brand something that is very recognizable and satisfies government safety regulations.”
It’s also a tone, he says, that could be customizable in future products, especially vehicles that grow from Karma’s Project e-Klipse, a global all-electric vehicle platform being readied for 2021.
“This technology gives an added dimension to the personalized customization options that allow our electric vehicles to match our customers individual lifestyles and tastes, and help make our products even more special and unique,” he adds.
The sound satisfies a mandate in the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010 establishing a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) to allow manufacturers of hybrid and electric vehicles to install a number of driver-selectable pedestrian alert sounds. The FMVSS is setting minimum sound requirements for electric and hybrid vehicles given the relatively silent nature of electrified vehicles – particularly when traveling at low speeds.
Exterior sounders developed by ECCO safety systems are placed in the front and rear of the Revero GT and emit a speed dependent sound spectrum at specific sound pressure level depending on the speed. When powered up and stationary or traveling forward or reverse below 18.6 mph (30 km/hour), the Revero emits a sound crafted specifically for the brand that’s loud enough to help alert people that a moving vehicle is nearby.
“Working alongside Karma, ECCO developed EVAS (Electric Vehicle Alert System) to expand the innovation of perimeter safety sound for the global electric vehicle markets,” said Jeff Turpen, ECCO’s Manager of Business Development for Electric Vehicles. “Our mission is to protect people with world-leading innovative safety solutions and we look forward to continuing our work with Karma as the brand broadens its future product offerings.”
ECCO’s warning and alert systems are used by more than 600 different global heavy-duty commercial and emergency vehicle manufacturers but Turpen says the collaboration with Karma represents the first application of its technology in a luxury passenger car.
Karma’s work with ECCO illustrates how the company uses partnerships to help speed product development, provide access to new technology and build long-term brand value through its open-platform business strategy, reaffirming its emergence as a high-tech incubator and growth beyond the traditional role of a car company.
“Although the regulation requires full compliance in September 2020, Karma’s collaboration with ECCO helped accelerate our efforts to ensure all new Revero GTs are equipped with the warning sounds well ahead of schedule,” Durre adds.
The 2020 Revero GT is available for preorders through Karma’s North American retail partners, with deliveries starting in the fourth quarter. The 2020 Karma Revero GT has a $135,000 MSRP and features many innovations and enhancements including a freshly-styled exterior and a world-class electric drive system that alongside a series of other technological advancements enables the new 2020 Revero GT to be as fast as it looks. With an MPGe rating of 71 miles, the car provides an overall range of up to 360 miles, with 80 miles of emissions-free all-electric driving powered by a 28kWh NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) lithium-ion battery.