TMC to sell approaching vehicle audible system for 'Prius'

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that, in line with its efforts to ensure an ever-safer traffic environment, it will begin sales on August 30 of an onboard device designed to alert pedestrians and others audibly to the presence of a quiet vehicle, such as a gasoline-electric hybrid. The device will be available nationwide through authorized Toyota dealers and Toyota genuine parts & accessories distributors for retrofitting on the third-generation "Prius" gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle.

The onboard device automatically emits a synthesized sound of an electric motor when the Prius is operating as an electric vehicle at speeds up to approximately 25 km/h. The sound—aimed to alert but not annoy—rises and falls in pitch relative to the vehicle's speed, thus helping indicate the vehicle's proximity and movement.

The device is designed to meet new Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism guidelines* for hybrid and other near-silent vehicles.

TMC also plans other versions of the device for use in gasoline-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles as well as fuel-cell hybrid vehicles planned for launch.