Pedestrian Warning System Demonstration

Pedestrian Warning System Demonstration

My wife and I took delivery of our Model 3 on 9/10/2019 and were surprised by some odd sounds we heard at low speeds in forward and reverse. This noise was never heard on our friend's Model 3 which we borrowed prior to ordering ours. Apparently any Model 3 built after 9/1/2019 will have the Pedestrian Warning System aka PWS. I've seen some posts and questions on here about the noise, so decided to make a video demonstrating the sounds our Model 3 makes in forward and reverse.

vmulla | September 14, 2019

Good video.

cascadiadesign | September 14, 2019

Reverse sounds like the soundtrack from the movie Forbidden Planet :)

Atom12 | September 14, 2019

I want that!

Does Tesla sell other forward and reverse sounds?

starkmd | September 14, 2019

Hmmm! I'm not quite sure about this, mixed feelings. I feel like people will stare at you because of that backwards it's making a weird, unusual sound. Forward sounds more an engine fan or something (or an airplane flying over). I'm curious what others are thinking.

Tesla2018 | September 14, 2019

I just use the horn. If all cars start having this in the future, it will be annoying and confusing in shopping center parking lots with all the various noises. Like all the idiots blasting their stereos at stop lights. It might be helpful for blind people but most of them walk on the sidewalk and not on the street.

mrburke | September 14, 2019

Two words :

This Sucks

82bert | September 14, 2019

Agreed. Lame. Noise pollution is one of my biggest pet peeves.

Atom12 | September 14, 2019

I'd like it to play the theme from the original TV series The Wild Wild West.

jjgunn | September 14, 2019

Mine sounds like the Undertaker from WWE coming out.

M3phan | September 14, 2019

Overall, stupid legislation. Plain stupid. Agree, this sucks.
As to the sounds, glad I have a 2018.
For me, reverse is quirky but at least unique. Forward sounds like something scraping on pavement. Hate it.
How did they not at least match the sounds? Why so different? Just no. Noise pollution. Blechh.
Hoping future updates give some better options.

howard | September 14, 2019

Glad it’s not on mine. Wonder if they are sensing the circuit if disconnected.

Wilber | September 14, 2019

RADEAN84 - thanks for making that helpful video! My first reactions - sure glad my M3 doesnt have it! Guess i will never sell it! and maybe time to sell my TSLA stock?!? That sound in reverse seems really annoying! While it would be nice if future owners could cut the wires to turn it off, but if they get in an accident where they hit a ped then the M3 owner is in deep shit! A coupla thoughts for ways to improve the system (assuming the regs would allow it). 1.
Tesla should install a second speaker on rear bumper and use that one strictly for the backing up noise. That way it is a little further from driver and front passenger. AND, maybe it could be sligthly lower volume since it would be closer to any peds behind the car? 2. Allow owners to choose different sounds for both front and back.
Other thoughts - I usually play my sound system kind of loud when driving slowly thru crowded parking lots and that seems to work. A coupla days ago i didnt do that and 3 peds in 10 seconds had to suddenly stop themselves from walking in front of my car. So, i can see a need for some kind of sound warning at low speeds. And especially for those drivers who drive too fast (15mph) in crowded parking lots!
What i expect is for Tesla to improve this system over the next year. Just like the way the very first MXs and M3s were somewhat problematic, but things got worked out over the following year, i expect Tesla to refine this system over the coming months.

spuzzz123 | September 15, 2019

Yeah glad it is not on mine. But if I had to have it, I’d prefer the reverse sound to the forward. At least it’s obviously artificial. The forward one just sounds like air rushing like maybe even air conditioning on steroids. Like something is wrong with the car. Would rather have something futuristic sounding to that.

bjrosen | September 15, 2019

Hopefully they will offer a choice of sounds, assuming that's permitted. The flying saucer sound in reverse is cute once but it will get annoying really fast. The jet engine sound in forward, can't really tell from a video how annoying it will be from inside of the car.

ODWms | September 15, 2019

Yeah, I’d have to snip those wires. No way I’m driving around like that.

don.lind | September 15, 2019

This is sad. While I "get" that blind people may have issues with the quietness of EVs, I'm not sure this is the best way to resolve the issue... As someone said, can you imagine a parking lot full of this nonsense?

I believe that some modern ICE vehicles are really quiet at 5 and 10 MPH as well.
So quiet that the main thing you'd hear is the tires on the asphalt. Not unlike an EV.
IF it's good that EVs make horrible noises at slow speeds, then put that on the ICE vehicles as well.

I have a 2018, so I don't have the speaker for this (yay). Hopefully there will be no retrofit requirement.

jjgunn | September 15, 2019

Prius, Volt, Bolt, Leaf, Ford Fusion should also be required, yes? Those cars are quiet at low speeds too.

bjrosen | September 15, 2019

jjgunn, hybrids are covered by the regulation, the rule applies to all electrified vehicles.

Neomaxizoomdweebie | September 15, 2019

The closest I ever came to getting hit by a car was while running on High Street at Ohio State. I was on the sidewalk about a foot from the curb running with the flow of traffic. I glanced over my left shoulder to check traffic just in time to have the mirror of a city bus whoosh past my face. I had young, healthy ears at the time but I heard nothing because the engine was on the back of the bus and was at idle as it decelerated for the bus stop up ahead.
So if we’re going to be a society of dumbasses lets at least be consistent and put noise makers on everything, including bicycles and golf carts.

jasoncon | September 15, 2019

Years ago when I had an early Prius I remember there being threads on the Prius message boards titled “Bell the Hybrid”. This idea that cars running on electric only are dangerous for pedestrians and blind people was received with a similar amount of derision from owners back then. If you have to have a sound, my two favorite ideas were to either have a random cowbell sound (not like More Cowbell...more like a cow walking down the street with a cowbell around its neck) or the Jetsons flying car sound.

A quick Google search shows at least one media outlet characterizing EV’s as a “Silent Menace to Pedestrians”. I would much rather eliminate noise pollution. This will be a near impossible precedent to reverse.

Atom12 | September 15, 2019

Somewhat of an aside: Devices in the Tesla are "smart" (networked computers). Tesla could easily enforce no cutting the wires/disabling with a persistent error message.

aptwo | September 15, 2019

I doubt Tesla will enforce it. There is no incentive for them to do so. And depending on how the speaker is setup. If it's just a one way signal going into the speaker there is no way Tesla can monitor it.

TabascoGuy | September 15, 2019

Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?

wb808 | September 15, 2019

Straight up stupid feel-good legislation. So glad I don’t have it. Exactly how many deaths/injuries occur each year in DIRECT relation to lack of hearing? And exactly how many of those will this prevent?

What about modern pure ICE cars that have really quiet engines, especially when in reverse? What about city buses - you ever been walking down a city street and been totally blind sided by a bus whooshing by that you didn’t hear because the rear engine noise was far behind the front?

There are 3 times as many of deaf/hard of hearing people as those that are blind, are we forgetting about them? Why not add strobe lights to every car to alert these people they’re in operation? Because that would be dumb, adding confusion and chaos and light pollution to the landscape, as does this noise.

So dumb.

wb808 | September 15, 2019

Thanks for the video though.

I bet this will be on the same immediate mod list when returning home from delivery:

1. Install floor mats, check.
2. Remove aero caps, check.
3. Snip stupid noise maker, check.

Ahhh, that’s better :)

Neomaxizoomdweebie | September 15, 2019

This legislation is the oil and ICE industries doing. Doing everything to turn people off of EV by making the cars sound stupid. FML.

neil.weinstock | September 15, 2019

Thanks for the excellent video.

My last Prius had this. It was unobtrusive and pretty much a non-issue. Don't judge until you hear it for yourself. The video does an excellent job of capturing the sound, but not the volume (very difficult to convey in a video).

I did think the sound going in and out of park was.... a little odd.

gadget63 | September 15, 2019

I can't help but wonder how long until you bring your tesla in for servicing and this is installed whether you requested it or not.

neil.weinstock | September 15, 2019

Unless the law is retroactive, then Tesla would be unlikely to waste their time doing this.

Wilber | September 15, 2019

Neomax - I agree. The fossil fuel companies and legacy automakers really have a grip on Congress and many state governments, so of course, they like to pass dumb laws to make EVs less appealing.

But,I will try to keep an open mind AND do a test drive of a new M3 as soon as i can to hear the noises for myself.

M3phan | September 15, 2019

@Wilber, let us know your impressions

aptwo | September 16, 2019

As a driver or passenger you won't hear it at all unless you have radio off and all windows down. If you want to really hear it you need to be outside the car.

rxlawdude | September 16, 2019

To those hoping for user-selected sounds, nope. The Federal regulation is very specific as to the tones to be emitted.

Actually, I kind of like the reverse sound, more than the "white noise" forward whoosh.

TabascoGuy | September 16, 2019

That's why I suggested a user selectable sound as a temporary override to the standard noise. Just like if you used the horn. That would override the standard noise, wouldn't it?

derotam | September 16, 2019

Should have made the forward noise sound more like a Tie fighter!

St☰v☰ | September 16, 2019

Is this hardware and software related or just software, because I sure don't want a software update only to find that my car is now noisy.

dmastro | September 16, 2019

Thanks for posting this video. While I'm not a huge fan of the choice of sounds, I appreciate that pedestrian warning systems are being deployed.

cybergrafx | September 16, 2019

Forward sounds like something is scraping or your brake pads are scratchy and reverse sounds like an old fluid pump when the windshield wiper fluid is out.

RADEAN84 | September 16, 2019

@St☰v☰ I saw a video of a car which had the holes in the splash guard for the speaker, but there was no speaker mounted behind it. Seems like Tesla knew this was coming and started making/installing the modified splash guards before installing the speaker systems. I guess the big question is, when did they start installing the speakers? Was it truly only on post 9/1/19 builds? If so, I would think anyone with an earlier car should be okay.

rxlawdude | September 16, 2019

It (9/1/19) was a mandatory compliance date for manufacturers to equip at least 50% of their manufactured EVs with the noisemaker.

donharvey2323 | September 16, 2019

Fiat 500e has had this (much more subtle noise and same in D and R). There are videos showing how to deactivate it. I'm sure there will be ones for Tesla soon.

Here is the details on the origin of the noise:

donharvey2323 | September 16, 2019

I got my car Nov. '18 and there are no speaker holes in the splash guard.

zafarula | September 16, 2019

Weird. It will attract more bystanders trying to tell you have a weird noise coming out of your "engine"

CharleyBC | September 16, 2019

There have been several references in this thread to snipping the speaker wire. Most things automotive have a plug. One can probably unplug the wire from the speaker or somewhere else along its route. The nice thing about unplugging instead of snipping is you could plug it back in to make the car compliant again for sale or maybe a state inspection, if states were to be so inclined.

Wedger | September 16, 2019

Can we get the Jawa theme to play, instead?

Wedger | September 16, 2019

I meant Jaws

Wilber | September 16, 2019

aptwo - sure hope you are right that the driver wont hear it unless sound system off and windows open. As i start a drive i typically dont have the sound system on, and have windows cracked. This is only for about 20 seconds. Once i get going the sound system comes on. So, even if you are correct, i fear i wil hear the nasty sounds all too often. Like i said before, i need to test drive a new M3 to really determine just how bad the new warning sounds are.

wb808 | September 16, 2019

I back into my garage. If ever returning home late at night that reverse tone could prove annoying to the neighbors! Bah, noise pollution, get off my lawn!!

SalisburySam | September 17, 2019

@jjgunn said: “Prius, Volt, Bolt, Leaf, Ford Fusion should also be required, yes? Those cars are quiet at low speeds too.“ As a datapoint, my 2012 LEAF has the backup noisemaker, sounds just like a construction vehicle in reverse, terrific for backing out of the garage in the morning and trying not to wake the neighb’s. In fact, it is about as loud as the horn which emits a pathetic “meep” sound. Also, unlike the 2011 models that had a manual switch and 2013 and later models that can be disabled with a CANbus command, the 2012 noisemaker cannot be disabled. Legislation at its best.

Neomaxizoomdweebie | September 17, 2019

Fine, I’m in. As long as the noise is a recording of Bruce from Family Guy saying something like:
Reverse, “Look out for my fanny, y’all. I’m backin’ Up now.”
Forward, “I’m sneakin’ up on you all quiet. Don’t be scared, it’s just a car from the future.”