Bose to strip unwanted sounds with noise-canceling tech for cars

January 12, 2019

Bose first changed the way audiophiles take in music with noise-canceling technology in its headphones. On Tuesday, the company said it plans to offer similar technology to vehicles early next decade for a hushed ride.

The company revealed its QuietComfort Road Noise Control technology and will make it available to automobile manufacturers ahead of its production debut in 2021. Bose said it aims to work with automakers to integrate the system in production cars in the coming years.

Unlike traditional ways to quiet down vehicle interiors through insulation and special tires, Bose's system takes a technological approach. Accelerometers mounted on the vehicle's body feed information to a Bose algorithm that continuously measures vibrations that create unwanted noise. Once the algorithm concocts information, it tells the system to create a noise-cancelling acoustic signal, which the vehicle's audio system delivers. In-cabin microphones monitor noise levels and continue to adapt to different scenarios, such as a change in road surfaces.

READ THIS: NHTSA "quiet car" rules to require hybrid, electric cars to make sounds by end of 2020

Bose also said that vehicles do not need to have a Bose audio system to make use of the Road Noise Control technology, and adjustments throughout the development process are relatively simple. 

The technology follows Bose's Engine Harmonic Cancellation and Bose Engine Harmonic Enhancement, which controls unwanted engine noises delivered to the cabin. Road Noise Control is a major step past simply engine noise, however, and Bose said it was a challenge to apply a process that controls a small area around the ear for headphones to an entire vehicle interior.

There's no word on which automakers have shown interest in Bose's latest system, but we'll learn more as Bose's 2021 introduction date approaches.

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