More quack-quack, less peep-peep

Researchers suggest replacing car honks with duck quacks 


Researchers are tackling sound pollution from loud car horns by developing a beep which apparently sounds like a duck's quack.

The pleasant-sounding horn is designed to alert people to danger while not stressing out others within the vicinity.

A quacking sound was chosen after different sounds were tested on 100 volunteers and it was found to be the most friendly for pedestrians passing by.

The research was conducted at Soongsil University in Seoul, South Korea, and looked at the development of the vehicle klaxon since it was first introduced in 1908.

The classical car horn's "ah-oo-gah" remains a famous sound in early motoring, but it came to be replaced by other attention-grabbing sounds.

Some of those klaxons have come to be found very irritating, however. The team of scientists set about trying to find less distressing sound for passers-by.

Lead researcher Professor Myung-Jin Bae said: "In our study we used the existing historic Klaxon sound source, but made some modification concerning its volume and rhythm with duration time by adding a power controller.

"Our new Klaxon sound can immediately alert the pedestrians of the danger while also reducing the unpleasantness and stress of the sound."

The 100 listeners were asked to rate potential car horn sounds for perceptual qualities including stress and loudness.

Their answers were combined to create a "mean option score" which ranked the candidate sounds from bad to excellent on a five-point scale.

The researchers found that quacks were less startling and could contribute to road safety by being less distracting to drivers.



Comments

José. said…
Hi Graham,



I agree to tackle sound pollution from loud car horns. As they say in this article, 100 volunteers have chosen a quacking sound among a lot of sounds. In my opinion, it’s necessary look for a sound that doesn’t stress to human beings, because only persons go around the street (and some pigeon). Then, the human voice is the sound that fewer upsets causes to human beings. For this reason, I would choose the human voice instead of a quacking sound.



In addition, I propose, from this blog, great blog, that the car horn only warns to people that are in the middle of the road, no people of the pavement, houses, markets and so on. It’s clear. Sound is an electromagnetic wave, therefore, you have to collect sound in one bundle and send it in front of the car. It would be like a laser light. This would be the best way, more pleasant, without loudness and less distressing for majority.



See you.
Graham said…
Hi José,

There are actually some noises that I like.

I loved the sound of the thunder and rain that we had this week.

The best thing about being on a (quiet) beach is the sound of the waves.

I love all the noises that birds make whether it be the incessant chirping of a host of cheeky sparrows, the honking of a gaggle of geese as they migrate overhead, the song of an enamoured blackbird or the gentle cooing of a flock of pigeons.

For me, it's just the opposite as far as human voices are concerned.

That's why I'd have car horns that sound like ducks rather than humans, any day.



I agree that we shouuld tackle sound pollution from loud car horns. As they say in this article, 100 volunteers have chosen a quacking sound over a lot of sounds. In my opinion, it’s necessary to look for a sound that doesn’t stress human beings, because only people go around the street (and some pigeons). Then, the human voice is the sound that least upsets human beings. For this reason, I would choose the human voice instead of a quacking sound.

In addition, I propose, from this blog, great blog, that the car horn only warns people that are in the middle of the road, not people on the pavement, in houses, markets and so on. It’s clear. Sound is an electromagnetic wave, therefore, you have to collect sound in one bundle and send it in front of the car. It would be like a laser light. This would be the best way, more pleasant, without loudness and less distressing for the majority.

José said…
Hi Graham,



I reiterate that I would like the human voice as car horns. I agree with you that sometimes people speak so loud and make a shout when they talk. It’s possible that you think that Spanish people (I’m Spanish, proud Spanish okay?) speak so loud, but me tell you that there are a lot of people that speak louder than Spanish people.



I know your defense of animals. It’s remarkable. You are a heir of Romanticism. I don’t know it you seem Rousseau, Lord Byron or Francisco de Asís. Finally, I think you are nearer of Lord Byron.



Anyway, I love the flamenco’s song from Linares (Jaen). I love this human voice from man or woman that sounds like torn pitcher (cántaro). This human voice comes out from human soul. It’s very beautiful.



I remember Roberta Flack, I love her song Jesse, it’s very pretty. Do you imagine you going around the street and cars sound Jesseeeeeeeeee?



I know that you like the opera. I love the chorus of the Hebrew Slaves when they sing the piece from Nabucco by Verdi.



I love the human voice of Monserrat Caballé and Plácido Domingo. I love zarzuela as La Revoltosa.



The human voice is especial, as when father listens to his son to say “papa” the first time.



See you.
Graham said…
Hi J!

I'll have to be choose my words carefully, which for me is no easy task, when I speak to the proud Spaniard. LOL

You can't deny that, at least in Europe, the Spaniards are the loudest.

But it's not just how loud someone may speak; it's also how they speak.

However, if the sound of the horn is sung, then that is another thing altogether.

Va Pensiero would give me goosebumps every time I heard it though.



I reiterate that I would like the human voice as car horns. I agree with you that sometimes people speak so loud and shout when they talk. It’s possible that you think that Spanish people (I’m Spanish, proud Spanish okay?) speak so loud, but let me tell you that there are a lot of people that speak louder than Spanish people.

I know your defense of animals. It’s remarkable. You are an heir of Romanticism. I don’t know it you are more like Rousseau, Lord Byron or Francisco de Asís. Finally, I think you are nearer Lord Byron.

Anyway, I love the flamenco songs from Linares (Jaen). I love this human voice from a man or woman that sounds like torn pitcher (cántaro) (not sure how you translate this word). This human voice comes directly from the soul. It’s very beautiful.

I remember Roberta Flack, I love her song Jesse, it’s very pretty. Do you imagine going along the street and cars honk Jesseeeeeeeeee?

I know that you like opera. I love the chorus of the Hebrew Slaves when they sing the piece from Nabucco by Verdi.

I love the human voice of Monserrat Caballé and Plácido Domingo. I love zarzuela like La Revoltosa.

The human voice is special, like when a father listens to his son say “papa” for the first time.
Graham said…
Just spotted a typo.

I'll have to choose my words carefully...