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Open Access Acoustic Directivity and Detectability of Electric Powered Two-Wheelers

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Since motorcycles are one of the main sources of noise in urban environments, the use of electric powered two-wheelers may contribute to the improvement of soundscapes in Smart Cities. However, quiet vehicles can lead to an increased risk of accident for pedestrians and other drivers. In order to assess the noise generated by powered two-wheelers and their detectability, five different low capacity motorcycles were measured in a pass-by noise test. The measurements were performed at different speeds using a linear microphone array and a dummy head. The sound directivity radiated by the moving sources was studied with a microphone array. To establish the detectability of powered two-wheelers, thirty-seven subjects participated in an auditory test consisting on a virtual road-crossing scenario. The subjects had to detect the approaching of a vehicle at 20 km/h. The results showed a significant reduction in the sound pressure level emitted by electric motorcycles at low-speed, as well as a notable increase in sound directivity with velocity. The reaction time obtained for the detection of electric powered two-wheelers was higher compared to the traditional propulsion ones. The results highlighted the risk posed by this kind of electric vehicles for pedestrians.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2017

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