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Audi knows sound, and it wants its upcoming plug-in cars to have as distinctive a grumble as possible, just like its fossil-fuel-burning brethren. That's why Audi engineers are working on "new sound signatures" for future e-tron models. You can tell how seriously Audi is taking this by the way it references the sounds a car makes to music and "emotional sound structures" in the press release below.

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Audi knows from sound, and it wants its upcoming plug-in cars to have as distinctive a grumble as possible, just like its fossil-fuel-burning brethren. That's why Audi engineers are working on "new sound signatures" for future e-tron models. You can tell how seriously Audi is taking this by the way it references the sounds a car makes to music and "emotional sound structures" in the press release below.

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Late last year, Nissan unveiled its "Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians" (VSP), a technical name for the noise-adding system found on the automaker's Leaf electric vehicle. Introduction of a pedestrian warning system on near-silent vehicles like the Leaf has been the subject of much debate, but with the U.S. House and Senate passing a measure that requires hybrids and plug-in vehicles to emit an audible sound to warn pedestrians, these noise-making setups will soon become standard on all

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Back in December of 2010, the U.S. Senate, followed shortly thereafter by the House of Representatives, voted to approve the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010. This required hybrids and plug-in vehicles to emit an audible warning. With noise-adding systems mandatory in the U.S., numerous automotive suppliers, including Delphi, have swung into action by developing so-called "sounders" for hybrid and electric vehicles.

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BMW ActiveE concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Last week, the U.S. Senate unanimously voted to approve a measure that would require hybrids and plug-in vehicles to emit a sound to warn nearby pedestrians. After approving the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010, a measure backed by Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the Senate handed it over to the House of Representatives. The House responded with a vote of their own: 379 members approved of the act and only 30 voted to shoot it down.

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Regardless of whether or not there's an actual need for pedestrian warning systems for hybrid and electric vehicles, the U.S. Senate has voted unanimously to approve a measure that would make the noise-adding setup standard on all vehicles that can operate – even if just momentarily – without the burble of an engine.

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Regardless of whether or not there's an actual need for the pedestrian warning systems that continue to pop up on hybrid and electric vehicles, the U.S. Senate has voted (unanimously) to approve a measure that would make the noise-adding setup standard on all vehicles that can operate, even if just momentarily, without the burble that emanates from a gasoline or diesel engine. The bliss of rolling down the road in an electric drive vehicle in near silence is now one step closer to becoming an un

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Recently, Nissan unveiled its "Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians" (VSP), a technical name for the noise-adding system found on the automaker's Leaf electric vehicle. Introduction of the VSP system on the Leaf and similar setups found on vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt have been the subject of much debate. Automakers continue the quest, though, in part to satisfy the demands of the National Federation of the Blind and develop an aurally pleasing system that warns all pedestrians of appro

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