A Nissan Leaf with Dream Drive written above

Nissan creates zero emission lullaby for EV kids

Nissan has created a lullaby to help parents send their young children to sleep whilst driving.

The sound has been specifically designed for use in electric vehicles to compensate for the absence of sleep-inducing frequencies produced by a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE).

Designed in collaboration with sound designer and sleep coach Tom Middleton, the Dream Drive lullaby blends sounds from the Nissan Leaf with frequencies produced by a humming combustion engine, to create a soundscape that should help send young children to sleep in the car.

More than a half (51 per cent) of UK parents use ‘dream driving’ – the act of setting out in the car specifically to get a child to sleep – with two thirds (62 per cent) doing this once a week. Parents spend, on average, between 20 and 25 minutes on a ‘dream drive’, with the average distance covered on a single outing being around five miles. Not only do these trips produce additional carbon emissions (around 70kg of CO2 per family per year), but the annual fuel bill of all ‘dream driving’ parents in the UK is estimated to be more than £33.5m.

Around 70 per cent of parents believe the movement of the vehicle is responsible for sending their child to sleep, but research has found that the soothing sound frequencies of internal combustion engines are also a major contributor to children nodding off in the car. As car owners gradually switch to zero-emission electric vehicles, Nissan is aiming to give Leaf EV parents the same ability take their little ones on ‘dream drives’ to get them to sleep, without the environmental cost incurred by a combustion engine.

“Although an electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf is a more environmentally considerate choice for ‘dream driving’. The quiet soundscape of an EV might not be as effective as internal combustion engine (ICE) cars,” explains Paul Speed-Andrews, a noise and vibration development manager at Nissan. “Combustion engines transmit a sound frequency, a combination of white, pink and brown noise varied in tone – creating an orchestral soundscape that is especially soothing and comforting to young children.”

Made up of five three-minute tracks, the soundscape mimics the peaceful audio frequencies of a humming combustion engine. Engineers identified the differences between EV and combustion vehicles through simulated drives and frequency visualisations. This enabled them to pinpoint what sounds and frequencies send babies and young children to sleep. The findings were that combustion engines emit a wider range of ‘hypnotic’ frequencies compared to EVs. A combustion engine creates a complex mix of sound waves, frequencies and harmonic overtones (higher notes), generated by the sound of the engine, tyres on the road and air moving around the car.

The finished Nissan Leaf Dream Drive lullaby has captured the frequencies and sounds heard during a journey in a combustion engine vehicle, to ensure the lullaby doesn’t stop, even when the vehicle does.

Listen to Nissan’s Leaf Dream Drive lullaby here:

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