Lotus deal widens noise-control availability

An agreement between Lotus Engineering and Harman Becker Automotive Systems will see Lotus's Active Noise Control technologies made available to vehicle equipment manufacturers around the world.

The two companies will jointly develop noise management products not only to give drivers and passengers a better experience but also to alert pedestrians when near-silent electric vehicles are approaching.

Becker will have exclusive rights to manufacture solutions incorporating proprietary Lotus technologies such as road noise cancellation, engine order cancellation, and electronic sound synthesis for the worldwide vehicle OEM market.

Road noise cancellation and engine order cancellation reduce both overall noise levels and specific audible frequencies in the cabin space. Electronic systems determine the signal needed to provide cancellation, which is then seamlessly generated through the in-car entertainment system.

External electronic sound synthesis provides specified electronic sound models that can be applied to an external speaker system to improve pedestrian safety. This is especially important for electric and hybrid vehicles, which can be difficult to hear at lower speeds due to their drive mechanism. A synthesised sound, dependent on speed, is projected from speakers at the front and rear of the vehicle, making it instantly recognisable that the vehicle is in motion.

Internal electronic sound synthesis allows sound contouring in the cabin, creating engine-speed and throttle-dependent sounds audible through the in-car entertainment system. The system delivers audible feedback to drivers even when the engine is silent or alternatively, says Lotus, it can be used to reinforce an OEM ‘sound DNA’ to the end user.

Mike Kimberley, chief executive officer of Group Lotus, said: "This agreement with Harman International will allow motorists to benefit from the greater levels of refinement and safety in future vehicles.”

Lotus says that working systems are ready now for production implementation and manufacture.

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