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 17,813.39 1.20 0.01%
Nasdaq 5,116.14 13.34 0.26%
S&P 500 2,088.87 -0.27 -0.01%
Treasuries 2.23 -0.01 -0.49%
Data as of 9:45pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Pfizer Inc 32.87 0.90 2.82%
HP Inc 12.64 -2.00 -13.66%
General Electric Co 30.36 -0.30 -0.98%
Bank of America Corp... 17.44 -0.03 -0.17%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 8.10 -0.20 -2.41%
Data as of Nov 25


Looks like the Magic Kingdom is lacking some sparkle. Disney's cable channels have lost millions of subscribers in recent years. More

Brazilian police arrested a prominent senator and billionaire CEO for interfering in the investigation of Petrobras, which has pushed Brazil into recession. More

Watsi crowdfunds donations to cover healthcare costs of those in need. And it's seeing a surprising trend: micro-donations via the popular Chinese social networking app, WeChat. More

Some of the coolest toys this year are from small businesses. Here are 10 hot toys that just might be a smash hit this holiday season. More

Facebook just increased the amount of paid time off new dads working at its international offices can take. More