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 24,568.04 -17.39 -0.07%
Nasdaq 6,872.62 -3.17 -0.05%
S&P 500 2,658.71 -4.14 -0.16%
Treasuries 2.35 0.00 0.09%
Data as of 2:18pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Twenty-First Century... 34.25 1.50 4.58%
Bank of America Corp... 28.88 0.04 0.14%
General Electric Co 17.66 -0.11 -0.59%
Walt Disney Co 110.03 2.42 2.25%
Ford Motor Co 12.43 -0.20 -1.58%
Data as of 2:03pm ET


More than 5% of DACA recipients have started their own businesses since enrolling the program, according to a recent survey. More

Residents of Beattyville, Kentucky, voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump a year ago because he promised them jobs and renewed prosperity. One year later, not much has changed. But few people here are blaming him for that. More

The FCC will vote on whether to repeal net neutrality comes amid mounting protests from tech companies, consumer advocacy groups and even some Republicans in Congress. More