THIS WEEK AT the Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan unveiled the IMx, its newest electric (and autonomous) concept—and baby, it sings. And by “sing,” we mean emit a noise like a demonic string quartet tuning its instruments. Nissan calls the feature Canto—literally, “I sing” in Italian—and it’s built to alert pedestrians that the very quiet electric vehicle is coming, even at low speeds.
Electric and hybrid vehicles are fast and generally better for the environment than their internal combustion engine-powered brethren. And they’re a boon to those sick of living next to clamorous roads—the little high-pitched whine created by electric motors doesn’t travel nearly as far as the ripping barrrrp of a gas-powered car. But that can be bad news for your standard walker or cyclist, especially those who are vision impaired.