June, 26th 2012 12:06:48 / by Karine Langenes
A friendly sounding car horn..?
Oliver Lucas from England developed an electric car horn in 1910. Today it is rapidly used in traffic to communicate with other drivers, warn if danger and just to say “hello” or “hurry up”. But the loudness of the car horn can also make you mad, is it so hard to make a friendly sounding car horn? Well, it’s a bit harder than that, because like many other areas in life, people can’t really agree upon what a perfect horn sounds like. If you have a big car, the image of the car can suffer if the horn sounds too friendly, the horn can also be too soft and then the customers will react and say that it sounds “wimpy”, just what happened to Hyundai’s 2011 Sonata. What happened was that Hyundai had to change the horn into something more “masculine sounding”. But the horn can also be too loud, it must do its job without being distracting to others. Some new and modern cars today have a “two-horn-system”, one is louder and for warning, and one is friendlier like a gentle warning or just to communicate with others.
On BBC´s program “60 second idea” IBM´s Jeff Jonas was given one minute to come up with an idea that he believed would change the world. Jonas came up with the idea of “Ration use of car horns”. He meant that car horns create too much noise pollution, people use the horn just to tell others that they are frustrated. Therefore he meant that every driver would only get a few honks a month for free, when the car has registered that you have used the horn more than that you have to pay for it. This way it will be less noise pollution and less irritated people on the roads.
The horns can also be used in a different way, artist Zefrey Throwell has recorded horns of cars all over Los Angeles and made it into a sonic movement for the third piece of his “Entropy Symphony”. Throwell himself has his own preferences to what a great horn sounds like: “The Honda Civic horn is really something quite shill and beautiful” he says.