Wouldn't this sound also really confuse ducks?
A group of researchers from South Korea have developed a car horn that’s less stressful for people to hear but still alerts folks to a vehicle’s presence. The new sound is similar to a duck’s quack. They presented the study at the Acoustics '17 Boston conference of the Acoustical Society of America.
“The selected sound can be utilized in any motor vehicles available at the market so that not only the drivers honking but also the pedestrians hearing the car-horn sound can live more comfortably without hearing any annoying noise from the streets,” authors Sang-Hwi Jee, Myung-sook Kim, and Myung-Jin Bae from Soongsil University in Seoul, South Korea, write in the study’s abstract.
To create this special sound, the researchers gathered brainwave tests, stress-indexes, and perceptive responses from 100 people. After evaluating various sounds, the scientists used the responses to rank the horn sounds and find the most effective one.
“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,” Professor Myung-Jin Bae told Sky News. “Our new Klaxon sound can immediately alert the pedestrians of the danger while also reducing the unpleasantness and stress of the sound.”
Since bird calls are a familiar sound in nature around the world, it makes sense that people would find them more soothing than the artificial noise of a traditional car horn. The new tone might alleviate road rage, too, because how could someone not smile when a vehicle suddenly starts quacking.
Motor1 has reached out to the authors for an example of their new horn's sound and to learn more about it.