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Innovative Delphi Sound Generators Help Warn Pedestrians of Oncoming Hybrid and Electrical Vehicles


Delphi warning sound generators help vehicle manufacturers address pending legislative requirements for hybrid and electric vehicles.

Delphi secures EV sounder business with leading vehicle maker for 2012 European introduction.

PARIS — With two new vehicle sound generators, Delphi Automotive can help global vehicle manufacturers warn pedestrians of approaching hybrid and electric vehicles. Designed to comply with legislation expected to mandate minimal sound for both hybrid and electric vehicles, these environmentally friendly sounders are not only robust, but compact, light weight and low cost. The single-box solutions are lead-free, waterproof and temperature resistant.

“Industry analysts predict hybrid and electric vehicle warning sounds, already covered by guidelines in Japan, will be required in North America and Europe in the near future,” said Beth Schwarting, general director, Electronic Controls product business unit at Delphi. “Our goal is to help customers address market-driven challenges with environmentally friendly and affordable technologies.”

Making EVs safer for pedestrians

Using expertise gained from decades of vehicle alarm system experience, Delphi has developed two environmentally friendly sound generators – called sounders – that enable pedestrians to detect nearby hybrid and electric vehicles which, without the sound generator, are nearly silent.

The first, Delphi’s electronic sounder system, is approximately three times lighter than a conventional multi-box system and uses 90 percent less power, making it the most environmentally friendly solution available. Its single-box configuration helps to reduce design, test and manufacturing cost, and its size and weight simplify packaging. The system provides a frequency range of 500Hz to 10 KHz and can reproduce melodies that represent the identity of individual vehicle manufacturers.

For applications requiring higher quality sound, Delphi has developed a high-fidelity sounder system that uses a cone speaker activated by a light-weight magnet and extends base range to 150Hz. The magnet-based system weighs 66 percent less than a conventional speaker system.

Both Delphi systems are robust enough to be mounted in the harsh environment under the vehicle’s hood and incorporate a 32-bit microprocessor with flash memory, a link to the vehicle’s data bus and an audio class-D amplifier.

“Delphi’s sound generators are specifically designed to warn pedestrians of oncoming hybrid and electric vehicles moving at low speed,” said Deidrich von Behr, managing director Electronic Controls Europe. “Not only do these ”green“ systems enhance safety by helping to make pedestrians aware of approaching vehicles, they become more valuable when integrated with other vehicle systems.”

Increasing value through system integration

An expert system integrator, Delphi can increase the value of its sound generators by connecting them with other systems through the vehicle’s data bus. Instead of implementing several alert systems, OEMs can benefit from one flexible system that offers multiple features. For instance, using unique sounds, the system can remind a driver that the battery needs to be charged, confirm that a charging sequence is in progress and notify the driver when the charge is complete.

“Every car has a personality, and we want our customers to be able to choose the system that best represents their brand,” said Schwarting. “With these two systems and the value of integration, we believe we have developed flexible products that will meet our customers’ specific needs.”

Committed to the future

Delphi is committed to offering hybrid and electric vehicle manufacturers high-performance, high-value products. From high-voltage connection systems and an innovative contactless charging system to affordable power electronics, Delphi’s innovative designs help increase performance, lower cost and resolve packaging challenges.

Delphi’s first Vehicle Sound Generator will be introduced by a leading European OEM in mid 2012.

About Delphi

Delphi is a leading global supplier of electronics and technologies for automotive, commercial vehicle and other market segments. Operating major technical centers, manufacturing sites and customer support facilities in 30 countries, Delphi delivers real-world innovations that make products smarter and safer as well as more powerful and efficient. Connect to innovation at


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