The shift to battery electric vehicles has done more than eliminate emissions, it has also removed sound pollution coming from internal combustion engines. However, one of the downsides of the silence of battery power is that ambient road noise coming into the cabin is even more obvious. To solve this, special acoustic technology, similar to that found in noise-canceling headphones, is being applied to vehicles.
Israel-based Silentium, a tech innovation company specializing in creating personal in-car sound environments, is ramping up global rollout of its Active Road Noise Cancellation (ARNC) technology after being selected by global automotive supplier Hyundai Mobis as its preferred ARNC software provider.
Silentium’s ARNC is similar to that found in a pair of high-end noise-canceling headphones, but more advanced as it manipulates a larger amount of air. Up to six strategically positioned accelerometers on a vehicle’s chassis monitor unwanted road noise and send a signal to an on-board control unit with Silentium’s software, which plays an equivalent anti-noise signal through the vehicle’s speaker system. The pressure waves from both the unwanted exterior noise and manufactured anti-noise reach occupants’ eardrums at exactly the same time and cancel each other out. Silentium offers proven broad-band ARNC across an unprecedented spectrum of frequencies – from 20Hz up to 1kHz.
By collaborating with Hyundai Mobis, Silentium is now working with several tier-one automotive suppliers, and with some in production programs for global OEMs. Three production models equipped with Silentium’s ARNC technology have already been released to the market.
After several years in development, Jaguar and Land Rover were the first carmakers to announce the integration of Silentium’s ARNC software in three of their new vehicles in October 2020. Having signed a Memorandum of Understanding last year, Silentium and Hyundai Mobis are now collaborating on a global vehicle production program for an unnamed brand, with more automotive projects in the pipeline.
Sang Hun Lee, Asia managing director at Silentium, commented: “Our active acoustics technology can reduce, cancel and enhance sound inside any vehicle, and can work on any infotainment system and speakers in any car – no extra investment needed on types or placement of speakers. You can already find our broad-band noise cancellation software in Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, and we can’t wait to start a wider global rollout thanks to our new partnership with Hyundai Mobis.”
Active Road Noise Cancellation (ARNC) has become more than a luxury in automotive – health-focused consumers now demand products that prioritize occupant safety and wellbeing by removing unwanted noise.
Silentium’s technology also offers vehicle manufacturers a way to reduce their reliance on costly passive noise damping and insulation materials, and reduce vehicle weight – an increasingly important R&D factor as the industry enters a new era of electro-mobility.