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The 'Canto' sound varies in tone and pitch depending on whether the vehicle is accelerating, decelerating or backing up.

Nissan has introduced Canto, a new sound for its electrified vehicles.

Named after the Latin term for "I sing," Canto provides more contextual information than a simple synthetic motor noise. The sound varies in tone and pitch depending on whether the vehicle is accelerating, decelerating or backing up.

The sound activates at speeds of up to 20 to 30 kph (12 - 19 mph) depending on specific market requirements.

The NHTSA last year announced plans to add a sound requirement for hybrid and electric vehicles to help protect pedestrians, estimating that synthetic noise could help prevent around 2,400 pedestrian injuries each year.

Nissan's Canto meshes with the government's observation that sound alerts are not needed above 30 kmh because tire and wind noise provide an adequate audible warning at such speeds.

The Japanese automaker suggests its noise will improve safety while also enriching the "aural environment of the typical city street with a distinct Nissan flair."