The impact of artificial vehicle sounds for pedestrians on driver stress.

  • Published: Ergonomics, 55(12), 1476-1486, 2012
  • Authors: Cottrell, N. D., & Barton, B. K.
  • Date Added: 06 Feb 2014
  • Last Update: 06 Feb 2014
  • Format: html


The impact of adding synthetic sound to low noise emission vehicles on driver stress was investigated by the University of Idaho.


Through physiological measures (galvanic skin response and heart rate variance) and self-report questionnaires (Short Stress State Questionnaire – SSSQ) researchers examined driver stress whilst operating a Nissan HEV with one of three sound profiles: no added warning sound, manual addition of warning sound via vehicle horn, and automatic addition of warning sound via Nissan VSP system.

Key Findings:

  • The study found that the automated VSP system was preferred by drivers, causing less stress than when reliant on a manual warning for pedestrians via the vehicle horn.


Stress, automation, vehicle noise, driving task, task demand.