Infiniti claims its new M35h set to go on sale in 6 months time is the world’s first production hybrid to feature an audible pedestrian warning system called the Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians (VSP) system.

As the M35h uses a hybrid drivetrain that consists of a 306 PS 3.5 litre V6 mated to a 68 PS electric motor that can run on the electric motor alone especially at low town driving speeds, the detectability of the car to visually impaired pedestrians is a cause for concern.

The VSP system is computer controlled and links an in-car sound synthesiser with a speaker built in to the front bumper. It works from a standstill up to 30km/h upon which it cuts off, and cuts back in at 25km/h as the vehicle slows down. The M35h can travel on electric-only mode at speeds of up to 80km/h but according to Infiniti, road noise past 30km/h was deemed sufficient for VSP to remain off.

A range of high-low sounds at different volume levels ranging from 2.5kHz at the high end to a low of 600Hz was chosen after an extensive research programme to find the most effective, but least intrusive, noise. It was also designed to be audible to all age groups. We wish we could hear how it sounds like on the Infiniti M35h but you can find an example of VSP working on the Nissan LEAF above.