Car Sounds Can Put Consumers off a Sale
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Innovations in car technology mean that cars can be safer and more efficient than ever before. As engineers seek more ways to improve automotive design, one aspect of cars that may not get enough attention is how a car sounds. The sounds of a turn signal or seatbelt reminder may seem standard, but there might be more driver-friendly options.
Nissan is working to completely revamp the sounds in their vehicle models. According to The Drive, Nissan is working with video game company Bandai Namco to create new car sounds. If you’ve ever wanted your car to make video game sounds your wish may come true
Bandai Namco knows how to make memorable sounds
Video game fans likely already know about Bandai Namco’s contribution to iconic sounds in gaming. If the company name is unfamiliar, then their most famous product will likely be more recognizable.
Bandai Namco is responsible for bringing video games to a new level of popularity with their 1980 arcade classic, Pac-Man. It’s cemented itself as one of the most well-known games of all time. One major reason for its success is its iconic use of sound.
Pac-Man is remembered by gamers and non-gamers alike for the sounds that play as you traverse the mazes. From fun jingles before the start of a level to pleasing sound effects while moving, the sound helps keep players going. Nissan is hoping that Bandai Namco will bring this expertise to designing new car sounds for its vehicles.
Nissan is reimagining car sounds
It may seem surprising for Nissan to bring in a company with little to no experience in cars. However, the video game developer has created an entirely new array of sounds for new Nissan models.
Consider the blaring beeps that come from a car when you forget to take the keys out of the ignition. These sounds get the job done of warning drivers to pay attention, but they can also be unpleasant.
Bandai Namco’s goal when designing new Nissan car sounds was to create satisfying and memorable sounds. Drivers will still get necessary warnings from their cars, but notification sounds will be nicer on the ears.
The psychology of sound
By trying something different with their sounds, Nissan could potentially encourage more consumers to buy their vehicles. It might sound extreme, but someone may choose not to buy a car if it has annoying sounds. This is why Lincoln brought in an orchestra to compose their sounds for the Aviator in 2018.
Bandai Namco and Nissan are focusing on the psychology of sound. Pac-Man is well-known for its sound effects, and this was by design. The developers wanted each sound to be pleasant and make sense for what the player was doing.
Frequency, pitch, and harmonies can convey the difference between information and its urgency. Good sound design is intuitive and not jarring.
Nissan cars won’t sound exactly like Pac-Man. However, the brand hopes that drivers will make the connection with the new sounds which are reminiscent of the game. If this strategy catches on, you may see more manufacturers bringing on sound experts for their vehicles.
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