INFINITI’S M35h will be the world’s first hybrid to feature a pedestrian warning system as standard when it goes on sale in 2011.
The ‘high performance hybrid model’ features Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians – a computer controlled system which links an in-car sound synthesiser with a speaker built in to the front bumper.
It automatically works from start-up to 30 km/h, cutting back in at 25 km/h as the vehicle slows.
The news comes after much debate recently as to the safety of electric cars and hyrbids on UK roads – Audi, for instance, is looking to Hollywood for its E-tron range of electric cars.
Infiniti’s new system uses a range of high and low sounds at different volume levels to denote different speeds; an intermittent tone is used when reversing.
The 302bhp, 3.5-litre petrol V6 M35h is linked to a 68bhp electric motor, and gets to 62,ph in 5.9 seconds. The Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians will be standard throughout the range which is expected to go on sale in 6 months time.