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Researcher Proposes Noise Cancellation Tech for Use in Cars

By - Source: UC | B 25 comments

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati say they have developed a technology that would use rapid sound waves to counter sudden noises heard in a car.

We are used to sound deadening material that is opulently applied to many of our vehicles today, to give an impression of distance and safety. However, while there is no reason to believe that the removal of rather annoying routine noises, such as wind or engine sounds, is a bad idea (as long as you do not buy a car with the explicit reason to hear its engine or exhaust), we found it rather strange that someone would think it equally desirable to get rid of noises that are caused, for example, by a sudden impact.

Guohua Su from the University of Cincinnati developed an algorithm that, in theory, allows him to produce an instant sound wave when, for example, a vehicle would "encounter with potholes, bumps or other roadway pavement obstacles." The sound wave may not completely remove the sound he said, but significantly “erase the perceived road noise heard within the car's cabin."

Call us old-fashioned, but isn't it a matter of road safety to hear those sudden noises to allow a driver to potentially react to a changed road situation or condition? Isn't road noise a form of feedback for the driver? We are not convinced that this is such a great idea - at least as long as we are still in charge of driving our cars, and not a computerized system - but there is time left to actually see (and hear) what Su has in mind. He said that he wants to test the system in an actual vehicle next year, and Ford has apparently agreed to work with him.

Dubbed active noise control (ANC), Su said that the technology will require "a robust algorithm that can efficiently and quickly track such noise and respond to it." He noted that common technology available in a car can help make such a system possible: "For instance, the car’s computer that operates music, GPS, engine sensor and other functions can also be employed to operate an ANC system, and the sensors and even door and roof music speakers now common in various parts of an automobile could be employed to generate ANC signals as needed."

 

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Top Comments
  • 28 Hide
    DSpider , September 9, 2012 4:17 PM
    How about cancelling the noise that comes out of the car?

    Call it the Gangsta Muffler™.
  • 25 Hide
    lahawzel , September 9, 2012 4:10 PM
    Noise cancellation in a car sounds like the worst idea ever. If you're a passenger, maybe this will benefit you, but the driver needs to hear all those sounds. What if your engine starts to make weird noises? What if cars start honking at you and you don't notice? People get into enough traffic accidents as it is. Don't need this extraneous technology to increase the casualties.
  • 13 Hide
    sykozis , September 9, 2012 5:45 PM
    This "technology" is actually pretty old.... They're just introducing a new scenario...
Other Comments
    Display all 25 comments.
  • 25 Hide
    lahawzel , September 9, 2012 4:10 PM
    Noise cancellation in a car sounds like the worst idea ever. If you're a passenger, maybe this will benefit you, but the driver needs to hear all those sounds. What if your engine starts to make weird noises? What if cars start honking at you and you don't notice? People get into enough traffic accidents as it is. Don't need this extraneous technology to increase the casualties.
  • 28 Hide
    DSpider , September 9, 2012 4:17 PM
    How about cancelling the noise that comes out of the car?

    Call it the Gangsta Muffler™.
  • 13 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , September 9, 2012 5:15 PM
    This technology isn't very useful for the driver but it may prove useful for, say, buses, where the driver cockpit can be separated from the rest of the bus, leaving the driver exposed to noises as s/he sees fit while the passengers enjoy the quiet.
  • 10 Hide
    greghome , September 9, 2012 5:44 PM
    DSpiderHow about cancelling the noise that comes out of the car?Call it the Gangsta Muffler™.


    Tell that to all those ricers that can't even beat a Toyota Camry, but sounds as loud as a Ferrari.
  • 13 Hide
    sykozis , September 9, 2012 5:45 PM
    This "technology" is actually pretty old.... They're just introducing a new scenario...
  • 1 Hide
    Shin-san , September 9, 2012 6:04 PM
    That might actually make me feel sick.
  • -4 Hide
    kc5omo , September 9, 2012 6:14 PM
    Not really, rhythmic road sounds could be lowered. This would make for a more comfortable, pleasant trip on rock embedded asphalt roads.
  • 2 Hide
    danwat1234 , September 9, 2012 7:09 PM
    Honda's Odyssey has engine bay noise cancellation technology and so do a few other cars. The car's radio system counteracts the sound waves coming from the engine bay.
    I'm not sure if cancelling road noises is a good idea or not
  • 12 Hide
    freggo , September 9, 2012 7:34 PM
    Sorry Officer, I did not hear your siren. My car has noise cancellation :-)

    "use rapid sound waves"...

    I knew it... those expensive rides have faster sound waves than a bargain basement Chevy of course :-)
  • 0 Hide
    aoneone , September 9, 2012 8:08 PM
    in other words you hear high pitch frequency that most people cannot hear whenever there is noise, yeah that will help..
  • 6 Hide
    livebriand , September 9, 2012 9:07 PM
    There's an easier, more fun way around this - an electric car. :D 
  • 2 Hide
    A Bad Day , September 9, 2012 10:26 PM
    greghomeTell that to all those ricers that can't even beat a Toyota Camry, but sounds as loud as a Ferrari.


    Or have a very, very loud bass system.
  • -1 Hide
    alidan , September 10, 2012 12:37 AM
    in the last... 18 years of my life, everything i can remember, i cant say i ever heard a horn honk at us, or that sound ever played a part in any way of driving.
    is a train coming, lights flash
    hell, half the time i am ever in a car with someone, the music is turned up loud enough to drown out sound
  • 2 Hide
    razor512 , September 10, 2012 4:27 AM
    Why cant they just make a completely soundproof car?

    hopefully in the future, they make a car that is 100% soundproof and also make the windshield a large display and high res cameras in the front that can to real time spot healing (like the photoshop tool) to remove distractions from your view, eg things like pedestrians and other cars)

  • 1 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , September 10, 2012 4:34 AM
    ^ that would be EPIC
  • 0 Hide
    greghome , September 10, 2012 6:25 AM
    A Bad DayOr have a very, very loud bass system.


    but play Justin Bieber songs? I heard yea.....
  • 0 Hide
    doive1231 , September 10, 2012 8:27 AM
    Could it cancel out the swearing from the other passengers on the bus?
  • 0 Hide
    CrArC , September 10, 2012 10:26 AM
    In my car, I'd like to cancel road noise, while keeping engine noise at current levels.

    In fact, I'm not sure I'd want to filter anything other than road/tyre noise. I might miss something important, like the engine falling to bits. Nor do I want the severity of potholes to be reduced - such severe impacts on the suspension are the kind of things I need to be aware of when driving.

    But yeah, road/tyre noise can go, definitely.

    Maybe a configurable system where we can pick which sources of noise are filtered?

  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , September 10, 2012 1:50 PM
    Wait a sec... so this guy wants to put noise canceling tech in a car which needs to be tested by essentially driving badly... and Ford is GIVING him a car to do this with?!?!? This guy is a genius!

    UC is an awesome school, full of highly motivated students. I work with their students all the time at the local nonprofit that I work with and I have never had a complaint about a single UC student (sadly the same thing cannot be said about NKU and Xavier students).
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , September 10, 2012 1:56 PM
    Razor512Why cant they just make a completely soundproof car?

    With electric cars coming out that make no engine noise, and more aerodynamic designs that have dramatically less air noise (perhaps the only good thing about the Leaf), all that you would have to combat is tire noise, which can be dealt with by having better quiet tires, as well as by isolating tire vibration with better suspension. Noise cancellation to isolate the rest of the ambient noise would be very easy at that point.
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