What sound do you want your MS to make

What sound do you want your MS to make

There is a proposed rule to require electric cars to make a sound to alert bicyclists, pedestrians, and visually impaired people that the normally silent car is coming. I assume that this is programmable on the MS, so I put it to you: what sound would you like your car to make. Mine is the crackling sound that the Delorean made when it reached 88 mph.

sanctuary | January 7, 2013

How about "Dixieland", like in the Dukes of Hazzard?

Or maybe the sound that Mario makes when he has the hammer on the way up to meet Kong? DO-DO-DO-DOOT-DOOT-DOOT-DOOT-DOOT

aa012a | January 7, 2013

I vote for Silence. I drive a Prius and most of times when people get in front of it its not because they can't hear me, its because they are crossing the street or right of way in the parking lot while texting on their cellphones. :-)

Velo1 | January 7, 2013

The theme from Jaws

rlpm | January 7, 2013

Officer: Your music is too loud. I'm going to cite you.
Driver: It's required by federal law.

On a different tack, if we put the car in neutral and pump the go pedal, will the sound get louder and softer? That is, will we have a way to "rev our engine"?

If so, and you hear a flock of geese, that's just @BrianH tapping his "goose pedal". ;P

Mark22 | January 7, 2013

The sound of the Enterprise going to warp speed:)

GoTeslaChicago | January 7, 2013

Whatever it is, I'm hoping for a distinctive Tesla sound, or one the we can customize like ringtones.

Liz G | January 7, 2013

William Tell Overture

olanmills | January 7, 2013

Haha I'm not sure every other car spouting the SpongeBob laughter, Jaws music, Donkey Kong doot-doot-doots, or animal noises is going to have the intended effect of making pedestrians more aware of what's going on. ;)

BYT | January 7, 2013


+1 for the sounds of SILENCE

txjak | January 7, 2013

Maybe there will be a variety available. Like ringtones.

Sudre_ | January 7, 2013

This is a very pointless law. People know what engines sound like. They will have to standardize it for people to know what EVs sound like. People are getting hit because one or both is not paying attention. A random noise will not change that.

I can sprint at 15 to 18 MPH... at least when I was a kid. I didn't die when I ran into something.

There is only one thing that MIGHT help.... the sound I want my car to make if they make it a law.

BYT | January 7, 2013

Look at how many people a year get hit by trains, last I checked, those are pretty loud. It's the headphones and loud music and lack of paying attention that causes accidents. Darwin Awards??

nickjhowe | January 7, 2013

Definitely Star Trek 'going to warp' sound effect. Everyone who's ridden in my car so far has commented (un prompted) that the S acceleration is just like going to warp. The future is definitely here.

bbmertz | January 7, 2013

Rocky's eye-of-the-tiger music when in drive. Low-volume ICE engine sound when in reverse. Beep sound when doors lock.

stuberman | January 7, 2013

The opening to Act III of Wagner's Die Valkure, better known as Ride of the Valkyries!

kalel65 | January 7, 2013

The theme song from the TV show "The Flash". Star Trek good too

garyrudolph | January 7, 2013

"Ouch quit it, Ouch quit it..." from Homer Simpson

Alan S | January 7, 2013

+1 stuberman

took the words (thoughts) rate out of my mouth:)

Captain_Zap | January 7, 2013

No sound at all is preferred. Just imagine how sensitive our hearing could be if all cars were electric.

If we were forced to make noise then it seems as if the noise should be customizable or the noise it would be ignored just like every other car alarm or back-up beeper.

RobS | January 7, 2013

horses galloping

DouglasR | January 7, 2013

How about a really mean dog?

Superliner | January 7, 2013

None ... I'll toot the horn when needed. Part of my enjoyment in driving electric is the quiet.

JoeFee | January 7, 2013

that of a Sherman Tank :)

TikiMan | January 7, 2013

Growing up with movies and TV shows always representing distant-future vehicles as sounding like jet-engines, I think it would be really cool for it to have a low volume F-16 sound below 15 MPH. That way most will hear it, and think to themselves... "Wow, we have finally arrived!"

kalikgod | January 7, 2013

The sounds that Nissan added to the LEAF does no good at all. Pedestrians do not associate the sound with a vehicle and will still walk out in front of me if they are not paying attention.

Unfortunately the only way to add an effective sound, is to make it sound like an ICE, which really feels like going backwards.

mclary | January 7, 2013

I vote for no sound. There is enough noise in the world.

wthieldelgado | January 7, 2013

TIE Fighter is the correct answer.

lph | January 7, 2013

The 1812 overture ;-P

Joyrider | January 7, 2013

How about horseshoes on pavement. Pedestrian looks up expecting to see a horse and carriage and instead sees the ultimate horseless carriage.

Brian H | January 7, 2013

If it's on demand, a Dopplered sound of an approaching muscle car, faint, then rapidly rising volume and pitch. Accelerating to ensure contact!

lightly | January 8, 2013


But if the law passes how about the sound that Kitt from Knight Rider made.

DTsea | January 8, 2013

I don't care what sound it is as long as I cannot hear from inside the car. And as long as nobody can hear it at 5 AM when I go to work.

And please- not the stupid beep beep backup tones.

Sound pollution is a real issue.... 35 lives of 35000 lost in accidents every year is not a real number- they don't have a means to calculate 1/1000.
Reminds me of the law Kansas City had 100 years ago that all cars had to be preceded by a lantern waving warning guy 'so the horses wouldn't get spooked.'

My wife's Volvo has a pedestrian detection auto-stop system. That would be good to have. That's mature technology from autonomous vehicles used in factories (such as Tesla's factory).

bbryant | January 8, 2013

James Bond Theme

bbryant | January 8, 2013

James Brown "I feel Good"

2EV-Family | January 8, 2013

I would want to be able to select my sound based on my mood. Maybe that sound that the flying cars made in the Jetsons as a default but be able to flip it to F-18 on full afterburner when needed :-)

mkh1437 | January 8, 2013

Does Model S really have this capability built-in already, but presumably inactive? I haven't read anything that indicates this functionality exists in the car today.

hsadler | January 8, 2013

I like "Dead skunk in the middle of the road"

But "Peeb Peeb" since you are going forward not back.

Or "mine mine mine" from the seagulls in "Finding Nemo"

DouglasR | January 8, 2013

This is just a proposed rule. See There is a 60-day comment period, and the final rule must be issued by January 4, 2014. It will then be phased in over a three year period. Assuming the final rule is issued January 4, 2014, it would apply to 30 percent of all subject vehicles produced on or after September 1, 2015, and 100 percent of all subject vehicles produced on or after September 1, 2018. There is no requirement that cars produced before these dates will need to be retrofitted with sound producing devices.

Also, while it is fun to imagine the types of sound we would like, the rule has requirements that are sure to result in a pretty boring sound.

Carl Barlev | January 8, 2013

Silence and let natural selection do it´s thing...

Captain_Zap | January 8, 2013

The problem is that the noise will be constant at speeds under 18 mph. I think that would cause more problems than it solves.

But if my car makes a noise I think it should be the beginning of the song Kashmir. ;-)

TikiMan | January 8, 2013

The beginning ten-seconds of this sample would be perfect...

Anthony H | January 8, 2013

If the current Model S doesn't have an external speaker, this is all moot. (Not mute.)

Elon commented on this; when asked when the car will emit a noise, he replied something to the effect of, "Not until the government makes us."

GoTeslaChicago | January 8, 2013

I guess this whole discussion is moot. See the notice of proposed rule making link at the bottom left of the press release page linked below.

"The standard also requires, as mandated by the PSEA, that all vehicles of the same make, model and model year emit the same sound."

GoTeslaChicago | January 8, 2013


"The proposed standard ensures that pedestrians will be able to determine whether a hybrid or electric vehicle is accelerating or decelerating by requiring the frequency content of the sound emitted by the vehicle to increase in a manner that is similar to the sound produced by ICE vehicles when accelerating and decelerating."

Klaus | January 8, 2013

The same sound my middle finger makes when I raise it in response to being asked "what sound do you want your model S to make?".

As a teenager, I used to turn off my VW bug several houses away from my home on those nights I came home too late by coasting into the driveway to avoid waking my parents and having to face the onslaught of questions. Wish I had a model S back then.

joshuaeven | January 9, 2013

another vote for NONE

David70 | January 9, 2013

If we're voting, I'd say "NONE" as well.

Other cars should be required to reduce their noise level. Then pedestrians, bicyclists, etc. can hear the tires on the pavement.

If they don't permit none, I'd go with the sound of squealing brakes and screeching tires.

drp | January 9, 2013

Click here to hear the sound I want:


I think it's the perfect sound for an EV!!!

Brian H | January 9, 2013

Well-muffled modern cars are also silent on low-speed approach except for tire noise. So if they impose "similiar sounds", it's a non-issue. There aren't any.