• Apr 27, 2006
Could it happen? CNET pundit Rafe Needleman let us know via email he asked this very question after reading a Ford press release that reveals turn signals of today emit a digital tone that has been meticulously engineered by dudes in white labcoats. In the past that familiar clicking sound that accompanied those flashing green arrows was caused by a mechanical relay. With the electronic revolution having banished nearly all mechanical operations in a car besides the engine itself, it’s feasible we could be downloading custom blinker tones for our pimped rides in the very near future. 
We don’t know about you, but we’re planning on replacing our left blinker click with the THX intro and the right one with the startup sound a Mac makes. What about you?

[Source: CNET]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      In my wife's car, I'd replace the turn-signal sound with a .wav playing the screams of horror of other motorists and them bracing for impact.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ok, I'm sorry, this is pretty dumb!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Regarding comment #2: it's only a matter of time before someone comes out with external speakers to allow EVERYONE to hear your customized blinker tones. Perhaps they could be integrated into the mirrors and use lots of LEDs that blink in time with the tone. Better yet, the audio signal could also be routed to the pair of 24" subs in the trunk, since the same people to whom these blinker tones would most appeal will probably already have them. The end result? Turn signals will join the cacophony of car alarms, fart can mufflers, and window rattling bass that already annoy so many of us on a daily basis.

      DriftPunch
      • 8 Years Ago
      With digital products replacing thermal relays, one could feasibly program the sound to increasingly get louder every 5 seconds or so given certain conditions. For example, how about initiating this sequence after 20 seconds of a non decreasing rate of speed AND no significant input to the steering wheel.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't think anyone is thinking about this the way I did, I figure it not so much a sound for pedestrians or other drivers to hear as much as the interval, fade-in, duration, and fade-out of the illumination of the signaling device (bet it incandescent bulb or LED, or other tec). So the lite woulf in effect be an osciliscopic rendtiton of the digital music the driver and passengers hear. I also agree it should alert the driver to having them on too long, but that could be remedied by the length of the tone itself, the stalk would actually have to be held or moved again to lengthen the the time or reactivate, the stalk would not lock into the signalling posistion as they do currently.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "I'm sorry, Dave, I can't do that..."
      • 8 Years Ago
      uum... if they turn it into a sound/song, then people are just going to leave them on all the time... definatly not safe.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Will people spend their money on ANY stupid thing?? Put your money in the bank so you're not crying poverty when you're old, dammit!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Best ringtone? "You've used it, now shut the F**King thing off!"
      • 8 Years Ago
      My folks' old 1988 Eagle Premier used digital beeps instead of a click for the turn signal. I'm not sure if the relay was buried so far in the dash that it necessitated a supplemental sound to alert the driver.

      As for me, it's been Saabs since day one and all 1994 and newer Saabs (except the primative 9000 series) use the SID to produce the tick-tock sound. At this time, I've not found any inroads to the SID's firmware to change the sounds or anything. All in due time...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Not even close.

      The whole reason ringtones are popular are because it broadcasts to everyone around you just how "cool" you are.

      Blinker tones would only be heard by people in your car, which in this country typically equals yourself + no one. That's hardly worth being "cool" for, even if you are a dumbass hipster fraud.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Dave, my mind is going--Dasiy, dasiy give me your answer true
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