The CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, recently said that he wants his company cars to offer custom horn and movement sounds in the future.
He then suggested that, in place of a horn, the next generation of Tesla cars may emit the sound of goats bleating, farts, and even coconuts.
Elon Musk teased the “customized horn and movement sounds” coming to teslas in a series of tweets. It is still unclear whether the CEO was serious.
💨 & 🐐 sounds too (also, of course)
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 6, 2019
The suggestion of coconuts may be a reference to Kinng Arthur in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He has his assistant Patsy use a pair of coconut halves to imitate the sound of his absent steed.
After his initial tweet, fans also quickly suggested other specific sound effects. He granted one user’s request that Teslas include “jungle and rainforest sounds.”
Musk also seemed open to the idea that Teslas allow drivers to upload personalised sound clips to be used for horns.
From September next year, electric cars sold in the United States of America will have to emit artificial noise when travelling under 18.6 miles per hour. This will make up for the absence of noisy internal combustion engines. Tesla started adding this sound to the Model 3 last month.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also recently proposed new rules surrounding the feature to allow drivers to choose their own vehicle sounds.
While regulations around what car horns should sound like are a little more flexible in the US, Tesla might have a harder time introducing the new sounds in Europe. The European Union has rules which are due to come into effect in 2021.
These rules specify that an electric car’s fake noise “should sound similar to the sound of a vehicle of the same category equipped with an internal combustion engine.” If this comes into play, then that rules out the coconut sound.
The arrival of mass-market electric vehicles means that many of our old assumptions about the way our cars look and sound are quickly becoming irrelevant.
Goat and coconut sounds might be a lighthearted suggestion for the future of motoring, but this is the future we could soon be faced with.