Domino’s Pizza Adds Soundtrack to Its Electric Delivery Scooters
In the Netherlands, Domino’s Pizza’s electric delivery vehicles have a unique technology to prevent any accidents that the scooters’ lack of motor noise could cause for the visually impaired, pedestrians, bike riders, and people on the phone or wearing headphones. The solution Domino’s chose is getting a lot of media coverage and — as you can see in the following video — chuckles.
As Gawker reports in “Motormouths Generate Engine Noises for Domino’s Silent Delivery Scooters”:
In an effort to reduce the number of accidents caused by the silent scooters, Domino’s has come up with a rather satisfying solution: Imitation engine noises.
Produced by a human engine impersonator, the sounds include traditional engine sputters alongside such random outbursts as ‘Domino’s,’ ‘pizza,’ and ‘lekker’ (tasty).
In an April 24 broadcast of NPR’s All Things Considered, entitled “Dutch Domino’s Adds Car Noises To Scooter Delivery,” co-host Melissa Block said: “As you may be able to tell, it’s just a guy pretending to be an engine and muttering between fake roars: Domino’s and pizza.”
Although Domino’s added the soundtrack to electric scooters in the Netherlands, the silence of electric vehicles is a problem in the U.S. as well. As this blog reported on July 12, 2011, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was mandated to require hybrid and electric vehicles to have artificial noise generators, because studies showed that the vehicles have caused more crashes because they were silent at low speeds:
The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010 requires NHTSA to write a standard by July 4, 2012 for an alert system that is automatically activated without any action by a driver or pedestrian, the agency said, and a final rule must be published by Jan. 4, 2014.
It is interesting to note that Domino’s amusing fake motor sounds are not the only options out there to give silent vehicles a soundtrack to warn pedestrians and others of their presence. As Morgan Clendaniel reports in an undated FastCoExist.com post, “What Sound Should Electric Cars Make?,” Ford (apparently, in May 2011) put four potential sounds online for consumers to vote on for the 2012 Ford Focus. Each one runs for six seconds:
and The Fighter Jet:
Image by Facebook page for Domino’s Pizza The Netherlands, used under Fair Use: Reporting.