Toyota City, Japan, August 24, 2010—Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that, in line with its efforts to ensure an ever-safer traffic environment, it will begin sales on August 30 of an onboard device designed to alert pedestrians and others audibly to the presence of a quiet vehicle, such as a gasoline-electric hybrid. The device will be available nationwide through authorized Toyota dealers and Toyota genuine parts & accessories distributors for retrofitting on the third-generation "Prius" gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle.
The onboard device automatically emits a synthesized sound of an electric motor when the Prius is operating as an electric vehicle at speeds up to approximately 25 km/h. The sound—aimed to alert but not annoy—rises and falls in pitch relative to the vehicle's speed, thus helping indicate the vehicle's proximity and movement.
The device is designed to meet new Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism guidelines* for hybrid and other near-silent vehicles.
TMC also plans other versions of the device for use in gasoline-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles as well as fuel-cell hybrid vehicles planned for launch.
Onboard approaching vehicle audible system details
(Includes consumption tax; does not include installation charge or other incidental fees)
|Third-generation Prius||Emits a synthesized sound of an electric motor to alert pedestrians and others to the presence of a quiet vehicle.|
Image of device in operation
|*Issued in January 2010 and based on assessments from the Committee for the Consideration of Countermeasures Regarding Quiet Hybrid and Other Vehicles, in which TMC participated as a member of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. The committee began assessing possible countermeasures in July 2009, after hearing concerns of drivers and other people about gasoline-electric hybrids and electric vehicles operating in near silence.|
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