Have A Listen At The Tesla Model 3’s Pedestrian Warning Sound

One of the issues that popped up with the rise of electric cars is that, apart from tire noise, they’re totally silent, so pedestrians can’t hear them coming, especially at low speeds – and, since not every one is having their eyes on the road, this could result in accidents.

The solution legislators and automakers have come up with is noise generators that alert everyone in close range of the car’s presence. Tesla, for one, has added an exterior speaker system to its EVs, which was caught in action on a pair of Model 3s recently.

Also Read: We’re Spending Four Days With A Tesla Model 3 Performance – What Do You Want To Know?

The first video comes courtesy of Zach Feldstein and sees the noisemaker in action on his neighbor’s Deep Blue Metallic Model 3, which according to Teslarati was emitting the “Reverse” version of the noise meant to tell pedestrians there’s a car coming – or, in this case, backing up. While it’s definitely futuristic and fitting for a car with new-age tech, we think it also sounds a little bit weird.

We first heard about Model 3s getting a pedestrian noisemaker a couple of weeks ago, when a Tesla technician put the word out that the EV maker had started mounting exterior speakers to its smallest model. The technician also said that every Model 3 built after September 1st would feature this technology, which is capable of emitting two different sounds, one for low-speed forward driving and one for reverse.

There’s also a second video, courtesy of Tesla owner David, who caught a white Model 3 backing up slowly and sounding like something from The Jetsons. For some reason this doesn’t sound as wacky as the blue one, but that’s probably due to the proximity to the car’s speaker.

According to the NHTSA, pedestrian noisemakers will save 2,400 people from injuries and could prevent between $250 million and $320 million in damages. Thus, both electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids will be mandated by federal law to feature some type of noisemaker by September 1st, 2020.

  • nik


    • Loquacious Borborygmus

      A wet wine glass rim being rubbed by fingers.

    • dumblikeyou2

      Noooo, it’s the noise that beamed all the old people up into the spaceship in the movie Cacoon.

  • john1168

    Is it saying, “get out of the way”? A little hard to tell with that guy laughing and the clip being so short.

  • europeon

    Cool. It has a speaker that makes scifi noises, just like Karma did a decade ago. Innovative.
    Now, about that headlight condensation problem that other manufacturers found a solution sometime at the end of last century…

    • HD

      You are trying to be funny, but the Model 3 is the most solid electric car in the whole world by a huge margin. Want to comment on that? Or you will keep on hating until they sell a million of them annually…

      • europeon

        “Most solid electric car in the whole world” LOL
        Tesla fanboys are worse than applefags.

        • scjeff

          Show us on the doll where Elon and Steve touched you.

        • Big Black Duck

          you wont get what Tesla achieved until you reach old age and die and a its Electric powered Hearst thaat will cremate you or plant you with a tree

        • Exotics

          It’s the most solid car in the whole world. You clearly have never driven one. It will change your life.

        • HD

          Typo obviously: sold. Look it up.

  • eb110americana

    When I worked as a mechanic, I was driving a customer’s large commercial truck through our parking lot. It used a mechanical fan, so it made a fair amount of noise with engine RPM. But given the size, it was slow to get out of its own way. I young girl was crossing the parking lot, and stopped herself when she saw me coming. I slowed and waited for her to pass. When she saw me stop, she cautiously proceeded. As she would be clear in only a second or so and was still at least 30 feet ahead of me, I started to roll onto the throttle again to get the beast moving. Hearing the elevated noise, she abruptly stopped and turned back, thinking I was about to run her over. I insistently waived her across, and she reluctantly went. It took a few seconds for the truck to actual start moving with any sort of forward motion, so she was long gone by the time I got there.

    Contrast that with an electric car show I attended over 10 years ago. It was plain to see that people were taking test drives of the cars in the parking lot, and people could see the cars moving, coming and going all day as visitors waited their turn. And still, when I was test driving, I was alarmed to find that swarms people walked directly in front of me if I was traveling under 10 MPH, and if stopped or moving at a crawl, would actually stand in the path of the vehicle and refuse to move, as if the car were parked with no one inside. The noise is definitely a necessity.

  • thejohnnycanuck

    Yeah, no. I’m really hoping these sounds are a work in progress…


    Why not a fart Elon, why…

    • Big Black Duck

      cause it wont smell

  • Ilbirs

    I liked these sounds. They seem like an auditive statement that if this is a car designed without recurring to ICE building parameters, so the sounds must not remind anything related to ICE sounds.

    • Exotics

      They are lame. Turn the music up and there’s sound

  • LJ

    I would think this would confuse people more than anything.

    • Exotics

      its just annoying

  • Exotics

    Stupid. Sounds louder than ICE cars idling. I have never seen a blind person while driving. Never. A disconnect will be found for these sounds. Imagine tons of Model 3’s all making these sounds going down the street

  • Alduin

    Wow are people so stupid that they won’t look at the crosswalk both ways before walking anymore? Or look behind them? My God we have descended into Idiocracy. EV’s shouldn’t be making a noise since they’re silent except the tires at freeway speeds.

    • McFly

      These sounds are not for crosswalks. As soon as a car hits street speed (20-30 km/h), pedestrians will hear the sound of the tires. This is for lower speeds, like in parking lots. Or when a car that you just looked at, when it was standing still, is suddenly starting to move.

      Personally, I think the people who argue against these sounds are the stupid ones. 😉

  • Richard Alexander

    That’s great but how about a noise when the battery pack is starting to catch fire?

    • stockinbug

      That would be the sound of your alarm clock waking you from your dream. EVs (and Teslas) suffer from far fewer fires than conventional cars.

    • carsonight

      So many Model 3 batteries are catching fire! It’s a calamity!!! /s

  • Richard Alexander

    How about a noise when you are pulled over on the shoulder waiting for a tow and a Taycan passes you?

  • Stephen G

    I think maybe an app that alerts the a-hole on their phone that a car is coming would be better.

  • JqC

    Yeah, I struggle with this one. This should only be an issue in the day as there are lights at night. But no matter what, this is a case where something is being engineered in a car to combat a pedestrian’s lack of awareness of their surroundings. Part of me feels it should be unnecessary; a ridiculous legacy of the ICE age. Another part of me asks myself, as a parent, what I’d prefer; my kids coming home fine because this is in place, or me sticking to my guns and having to see my son or daughters in the hospital one day. You know what? It’s decided. Let there be sound.

  • that’s not the jetson car noise.

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