Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Sounds like a Prius down the street

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Toyota said Tuesday it will begin selling a noise-making device for its popular Prius hybrids in Japan that is designed to alert pedestrians when the quiet, gasoline-electric vehicle is approaching.

The device, which emits a humming sound similar to an electric motor, will be available on the third-generation Prius in Japan beginning next week. The aim is to "alert but not annoy," according to a Toyota press release.

Toyota spokesman David Lee said the company plans to begin offering the device in other markets, including the United States, at some point in the future. But he could not say when.

The device is designed to meet new safety requirements in Japan for gasoline-electric and other hybrid vehicles that are much quieter than traditional gas powered cars.

The ¥12,600 ($149) device automatically kicks in when the Prius is running on its electric motor at speeds up to about 15 miles per hour. The sound is similar to the hum of an electric motor, but louder. It rises and falls in pitch relative to the vehicle's speed to help pedestrians locate the car.  To top of page

Find Your Next Car
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,400.75 -610.32 -3.39%
Nasdaq 4,707.98 -202.06 -4.12%
S&P 500 2,037.41 -75.91 -3.59%
Treasuries 1.58 -0.16 -9.20%
Data as of 8:06pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 13.00 -1.04 -7.41%
Microsoft Corp 49.83 -2.08 -4.01%
Ford Motor Co 12.52 -0.88 -6.57%
General Electric Co 29.82 -1.37 -4.39%
Micron Technology In... 13.21 -0.84 -5.98%
Data as of 3:51pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

Barnes and Noble announced plans to start selling alcohol in some of its stores. And shares of the bookstore chain rallied on the news while the rest of the market was down on Brexit fears. More

The U.K. voted to leave the European Union on Thursday. The vote could affect Americans in a litany of ways. More

Startup Spark examined the effects that political candidates had on the human brain and nervous system using a device called BrainWave. Here's what it found. More