The 2019 Chevrolet Volt Makes An Odd Noise To Alert Pedestrians

Plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles are significantly quieter than their conventionally powered counterparts and this makes them harder for pedestrians to hear.

To combat the issue, the United States Department of Transportation (DoT) has developed new rules which will require so-called “quiet cars” to produce noises at low speeds in order to warn other road users about their presence. The law aims to save lives, but it also means automakers have to develop a new sound for their eco-friendly models.

Automotive News is spending some time with the 2019 Chevrolet Volt and they’ve created a short clip that reveals the company’s latest iteration of their pedestrian alert system. The system uses front and rear speakers to produce a sound that is nothing like a traditional car.

While the noise is certainly an odd choice, Volt program engineering manager Rob Mantinan told the publication that it is “more deliberate” and “more noticeable” than before. Thankfully, most drivers shouldn’t be able to hear it when they’re behind the wheel.

The Volt has had a pedestrian alert system since 2011, but the original model had a horn which drivers had to activate. The company then introduced an automated buzzing noise when it launched the second-generation Volt a few years later.

The updates to the 2019 Volt extend far beyond fake noises, as the model has been equipped with a new 7.2 kW charging system which enables the car’s 8.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack to be fully recharged in as little as 2.3 hours using a 240-volt outlet. The new charging system, though, is standard only on the Volt Premier, and the base model still uses a 3.6 kW charger. As a result, it takes approximately 4.5 hours to recharge the battery with a 240-volt connection.

Other updates for 2019 include a new 8-inch infotainment system, a digital rearview camera mirror and revised interior upholstery.

  • Jay

    🤢 🤢 🤢

  • Ilbirs

    I’m still thinking if it’s that difficult the task of designing an electric motor in which the natural zooming sound is very audible instead of putting a fake noise generator that can break.

  • MIL1234

    relax the pedestrian before you hit him

    • Bill Nguyen

      Unfortunately, I fear in the future we will no longer be able to hit pedestrians, even if we want to, because of automated safety systems. What if I want to run over someone on purpose, like a mass killer on a shooting rampage, or my mother in law? You can pretty much forget about it come 2025…

  • Blanka Li

    Aliens . . .


  • Perry F. Bruns

    Why not have it make the Jetsons noise?

  • vicw2

    I think the 8.4 KWh battery pack you mentioned on the Volt is really more like 18.4 KWh, unless the Volt is way more efficient than my Honda Clarity.

Man Tries To Steal BMW, Owner Jumps In, Makes Him Crash And Flee On Foot

The owner had left her dog inside the car and was determined to not let anything happen to her.

Driven: 2019 Kia Rio Does What It Says On The Tin

Engine refinement and light steering aside, the Rio is an extremely competent, and affordable, supermini.

Ford Mustang Bullitt Goes For A (Legal) High-Speed Run On The Autobahn

The reincarnation of the iconic ‘Stang was so successful, Ford announced it will extend its production run.

Porsche Taycan Demonstrates Its Speed At NYC Formula E Course

The Taycan made its third and final stop in the company’s Triple Demo Run at the Big Apple.

Mario Andretti’s Lamborghini Countach Is A $500k Piece Of Automotive Royalty

Lamborghini only ever built 321 examples of the Countach 5000 S, and this one had a very special owner.

Toyota Kicks Off New Ad Campaign As 2020 GR Supra Arrives At Dealers Later This Month

After a 21 year absence, the Toyota Supra will return to dealerships soon.

Ranger Danger: Ford Reportedly Working On A Bronco Pickup To Battle Jeep Gladiator

The hardcore pickup is expected to be based on the next-generation Ranger and could go into production in 2024.

HSV SportsCat Series 2 Sequel Brings Enhanced Styling, Equipment

The Holden Colorado-based off-road truck receives cosmetic changes that make it look more aggressive.

VW Plans To Launch Autonomous Vehicles In The Middle Of The Next Decade

VW believes fully autonomous vehicles will primarily appeal to the fleet operators and the rich.

Audi Celebrates 25 Years Of RS Models, Confirms Two More For 2019

Audi will introduce two new RS models later this year and one is likely the RS Q8.