International Journal of Automotive Technology

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 699–705 | Cite as

Objective evaluation of the sound quality of the warning sound of electric vehicles with a consideration of the masking effect: Annoyance and detectability

  • Sang Kwon LeeEmail author
  • Seung Min Lee
  • Taejin Shin
  • Manug Han


This study developed a method to evaluate the sound quality of the warning sound masked by background noise considering the masking effect. The warning sound of an electric vehicle is required by law for the safety of pedestrians. Therefore, the warning sound becomes an additional noise pollution source if it is designed as an annoyance. On the other hand, if the sound is designed with a low sound pressure level, pedestrians will not recognize the approach of vehicle due to background noise. To avoid nose pollution and permit the detectability of an approaching vehicle, a method for evaluating the annoyance and detectability of an electric vehicle is required. In this paper, the whine index evaluating the whine sound masked by the background was developed and used as a sound metric. This metric was employed for the development of an annoyance index and detectability index for electric vehicles.

Key words

Annoyance Detectability Electric vehicle Masking effect Sound quality Whine index 



constant related to the amplitude of a monopole source


mean squared value of the sound pressure


source strength of a mono pole source


density of air


speed of sound


wave number


distance from the source to the listener


directivity of sound presure


speed of the vehicle


sound pressure level (SPL) of the waveform


frequency masking curve of nth masker


noise intensity present in the critical band


hearing threshold the frequency f


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Automotive Engineers and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sang Kwon Lee
    • 1
    Email author
  • Seung Min Lee
    • 1
  • Taejin Shin
    • 1
  • Manug Han
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringInha UniversityIncheonKorea

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