Researchers have found a potentially novel way to reduce noise pollution; replacing the Traditional Car Horn with a more ear friendly beep, which resembles a duck’s quack.
The intention of the easier-on-the-ear horn is to alert people to danger, without causing others in the area to become stressed out.
The research was conducted at Soongsil University in Seoul; South Korea, using 100 volunteers who were asked to select which sounds they thought sounded the most pleasant on the ear. The study looked into the development of the vehicle klaxon since it made its debut in 1908.
The traditional “ah-oo-gah” sound – synonymous with the car horns that featured rubber balloon type ends – remains an iconic sound associated with early motoring, but it soon was replaced by more irritating noises to grab attention.
Some of the noises used over the years have been regarded as highly irritating, and the team of scientists conducting the research tried to find less annoying sounds with pedestrians in mind.
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 participants were asked to listen to Potential Car Horn sounds and rate them by certain criteria such as stress and loudness.
The results were then combined and averaged to create a “mean option score” which listed the potential car horn replacements from bad to excellent on a five-point scale.
The quacking noises were found to be less alarming and could potentially help road safety by being less distracting to drivers.
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