British Asia Network - Shahzad Sheikh
London 12 February 2020 - Half of UK parents (51%) are believed to take small children out for a short drive specifically in order to send them to sleep - apparently about 62% do this at least once a week.
According to scientists this works because the gentle rocking movement of the car can make us sleepy, but also due to the constant humming noise from the car engine, which is referred to as white noise. It is a type of uninteresting, constant noise that seems to help us fall asleep.
But an electric car doesn't make any engine humming noise of course. So Nissan has created a world-first lullaby designed for electric cars specifically to help parents send their children to sleep, in the absence of the sleep-inducing frequencies produced by internal combustion engines.
Designed in collaboration with Sound Designer and Sleep Coach Tom Middleton, the ‘Dream Drive’ lullaby blends sounds of the Nissan LEAF with frequencies produced by a humming combustion engine to create a hypnotic soundscape to help send young children to sleep in the car.
Parents spend an average of 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 £33.5 million.
In collaboration with Sound Designer and Sleep Coach Tom Middleton, Nissan has dreamt up the Nissan LEAF ‘Dream Drive’, the world’s first ‘zero-emission lullaby’. Made up of five three-minute tracks, the soundscape mimics the peaceful audio frequencies of a humming combustion engine, but without the carbon cost.
Tom and Nissan’s 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.