Brigade Sparks a Quiet Revolution at Motor Transport Awards

Brigade Electronics’ Quiet Vehicle Sounder won a top prize at the most prestigious awards ceremony for the commercial vehicle industry.

The road safety company’s acoustic electric vehicle alert system won the Innovation Award at the 33rd Motor Transport Awards.

The category recognises pioneering technology in the road freight transport industry and was presented by David Howe, the commercial sales general manager at award sponsor Goodyear Dunlop.

Over 1,600 people attended the glittering ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s Park Lane and were entertained by TV host Claudia Winkleman and comedian Omid Djalili, who has starred in Hollywood films including Mama Mia 2 and Gladiator.

Judges were wowed by the Quiet Vehicle Sounder, a noise emitting device that is attached to virtually silent electric cars and produces a distinctive replacement sound when the vehicle reverses or travels at low speeds.

The sound is highly directional, enabling a pedestrian to tell where the vehicle is, and it varies in pitch and tone as the vehicle speeds up or slows down.

Brigade Electronics’ Chris Hanson-Abbott OBE said: “We are both humbled and elated that our Quiet Vehicle Sounder has been recognised by some of the most influential people in the industry at this fantastic event.

“We are dedicated to improving road safety and are incredibly proud of the QVS and its effect on the electric vehicle market, especially in the thriving commercial vehicle sector.

Research by Guide Dogs For The Blind shows electric cars are about 40% more likely to hit a pedestrian than a petrol or diesel vehicle.

And the average person struggles to hear electric and hybrid cars approach at speeds of up to 20kmh (12.5mph).

Acoustic Vehicle Alert Systems (AVAS) must now be installed in new models of hybrid and electric cars.

The EU law has been put in place to protect pedestrians – particularly children and the disabled – as they struggle to hear deathly silent electric cars at low speeds.