Hyundai Active Cabin Noise Reduction Looks to AV Future

Hyundai is exploring new ways of cancelling noise as a nod to the future of more automated driving where vehicle sounds could mar the in-cabin experience.

The Korean automaker has teamed-up with Harman to launch what it claims is the world’s first active road noise cancellation system for a production vehicle. Its Road-Noise Active Noise Control (RANC) system claims to reduce in-cabin noise levels by cancelling out unwanted sound originating from the tires and road surfaces while driving.

The Hyundai Genesis GV80 SUV, debuted in Korea last month, is the first production car to feature the technology based on Harman’s HALOsonic suite of noise management technologies. According to a study commissioned by Harman, end users reported that road noise was the biggest auditory distraction for drivers in the car – a situation likely to get more irritating with the advance of autonomous driving features where in-car experiences could suffer from even small amounts of redundant noise.

Also, the automaker is aware that with modern consumer demands for sharper vehicle handling, fuel efficiency, stiffer suspensions and wide low-profile tires, road going noise levels are increased. Many of the features required to offer these vehicle assets also provide multiple paths for unwanted noise to be transmitted through the structure of the vehicle, ultimately creating a ‘droning’ noise inside the car cabin that is both distracting and tiring. At the same time, conventional, passive noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) methods can significantly add to the vehicle weight with a further negative effect on fuel economy and CO2 emission levels.

The partners tell us that a RANC control processor uses reference signals received from acceleration sensors placed strategically along the suspension and chassis to predict noise transferred into the cabin and to generate an anti-noise wave in real-time. Compute time and signal transfer speed are enhanced to allow for an analysis of the intruding noise and the generation of the anti-noise within milliseconds, thereby preventing the noise from reaching the occupants’ ears. Error microphones constantly monitor the system performance in each seat location to ensure a more pleasant ride for all vehicle occupants.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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