Tesla Pedestrian Warning System: What Is It and How It Works

Tesla Pedestrian Warning System: What Is It and How It Works?

While reversing the car or driving at a low speed, you might have heard a UFO sound. It’s coming from the bottom PWS speaker under the front passenger side.

This reverse sound is what Tesla calls Pedestrian Warning System (PWS). Well, it’s a feature that emits a whirring or whining noise to alert all walkers about the car’s existence. This helps all folks to get on the sides quickly when the car moving in a direction by making the sound.

If you are new to this, I’ll explain all about the PWS from its meaning, working, and usage in this guide. Scroll down for the details!

Tesla Pedestrian Warning System: What Is It and How It Works

An Overview of Tesla Pedestrian Warning System (PWS)!

From the name of this feature, you can understand what Tesla Pedestrian Warning System is. Well, it’s a feature that causes the car to make whirling noise when reversing/driving forward or running at a low speed.

Tesla offers this feature to all series including Model X, Y, S, and 3 cars made after late 2020 – 2021. This system is given to let walkers be aware of the ongoing car.

Due to the new rule by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2018, Telsa built all the cars adding the PWS (if equipped). The purpose of this rule is to prevent accidents (such as crashes) involving pedestrians.

In that rule, it’s mandatory for all electric and hybrid cars to send warning sounds when running at a low speed (18.6 MPH). This way all inattentive walkers can hear background sounds to stay away from the moving car.

Most of the time, the speed limit of Tesla cars is less than 15 – 21 MPH (24 – 33 km/h). One thing you should know is that the speed limit can differ based on the location.

For example, the PWS will make a sound when the Model Y and 3 cars run below 15 MPH (24 km/h) in Canada. This is different in the US as the MY and M3 cars make the reverse sound when running at less than 19 MPH (32 km/h).

On the other hand, the speed limit of Model Y and 3 cars to make PWS sound is lower than 21 MPH (33 km/h) in EU countries.

In the end, this feature helps drivers and walkers on the road by adding safety and reducing the risk of accidents.

Fun Facts:

  • There’s no option for drivers to download Tesla reverse sound.
  • In the Pause position of the Pedestrian Warning System, the Tesla reverse sound may not work.
  • The touchscreen shows an indication (car with mute sign) to signal that the PWS feature is paused or not active.
  • The PWS sound will pause for the current drive only and turns on immediately when you shift the gear to Drive (D) or Reverse (R).

Does My Tesla Have Pedestrian Warning System?

The easiest way how you can tell whether the car has a PWS or not is by looking under the car to find the speaker area.

Does My Tesla Have Pedestrian Warning System

If your car contains a speaker grill at the front right (passenger side) underneath, then it indicates the presence of a Pedestrian Warning System or reverse sound.

Another thing is that you just change the shift to reverse and listen to the noise the car makes. If it seems terribly loud like a UFO sound in reverse, then it means your car does contain the PWS feature. Note that the car won’t make a loud sound when you drive the car forward.

How to Turn On Tesla Reverse Sound?

To activate the reverse sound on your Tesla car, you only need to shift the gear to Reverse (R) or Driver (D). You can do that by using the drive stalk (for Model 3 and Y) or the center console button (for Model X and S).

Note that the car will make louder noise as you increase the speed using the accelerator pedal in reverse or drive position.

How to Turn Off Tesla Reverse Sound

In order to deactivate the reverse sound on your Tesla car, just use the touchscreen and set the setting to Pause position.

To do that, go to Controls > Safety > Pedestrian Warning > Pause and then the car won’t make a noise when you reverse or drive it. FYI, this feature isn’t available on all cars.

How to Disable Tesla Pedestrian Warning System Fully?

For folks who dislike the reverse sound, it can’t be turned off manually as there’s no setting. However, you can disable Tesla reverse sound externally. Follow the given methods to do it easily:

Method #1: Disconnect the Plug of the PWS Speaker

The most effective way how you can disable the reverse sound is by unplugging the PWS speaker’s plug. Let me show you the directions below:

Disconnect the Plug of the PWS Speaker
  1. Start by parking the car in an empty zone.
  2. Then, move the wheel (front passenger side) to the side so that the fender area can be seen.
  3. Next, use a flat screwdriver to remove the 3 pop-out bolts. Then, open up the fender plastic curtain that hides the interior parts.
  4. After that, detach the plug that attaches to the PWS speaker by pressing the tab. Once it’s done, reinstall all the parts and then test whether the car makes a sound or not.

Be sure to wrap the plug with an electrical tape or cap for extra protection.

Method #2: Use Duct Tape Over the Speaker and Grill

Another way to shut up the PWS or reverse sound is by covering the speaker with duct tape. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Firstly, reach out to the speaker (as I’ve mentioned in the first method).
  2. After that, use a pry bar or your hand to take out the speaker from its grill area.
  3. Then, cover the middle and sides with duct tape and ensure to cover the upper area fully where the sound comes from.
  4. Next, test it out. If needed, you can layer the duct tape over the applied area to ensure no sound is heard from the speaker.
  5. After that, put all the parts back in place. Then, get beneath the car and cover the speaker grill with duct tape for better results.

Pro Tip: You can also make some holes in the duct tape using a basic hole puncher or other convenient tools if you want to adjust the volume instead of muting it.

Wrapping Up

The Pedestrian Warning System (PWS) is indeed a good feature that ensures the safety of walkers as well as drivers who run their cars in the dark zone. That way the car faces less chances of crashes or collisions with walkers.

Even if you hate the loud noise of PWS, I’ll still suggest using this as it can prevent accidents by alerting walkers who are near your car. Hope this guide seems informative to understand about the PWS and its related stuff.

Now if your car stop showing the Safety Score, then know why Tesla Safety Score not working here and fix it.

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