As Australia looks to the US and Europe on electric vehicle safety rules, carmakers are experimenting with sounds that will effectively warn pedestrians

Take a walk down any busy street and the noise can hit like a speaker accidentally left on full volume. The growls of engines accelerating when the traffic light turns green, motorbikes vying for position in the traffic, buses whizzing past and the odd rev-head all compete to be heard.

The sound generated by the internal combustion engine has shaped urban life for a century, but that is gradually going to change: by 2050, 90% of cars in Australia will be electric.

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