Sound quality is an important factor for brand differentiation. An active sound design system has been developed to modify engine sound perception. Interior sound quality is enhanced by introducing additional sound using an actuator exciting the vehicle structure instead of loudspeakers. The perception of the engine sound can become, for instance, that of a powerful car or sports car. Different strategies to drive the actuator based on CAN signals have been defined in order to obtain realistic sound in all driving conditions. The strategies are implemented in a microcontroller and the system can be switched off to keep a quiet atmosphere at constant speed. As the system is software-based, it offers numerous possibilities to tune the sound and driving strategies.
In the context of hybrid and battery electric vehicles, such a system could be used to generate a sound signature inside and/or outside the vehicle. It would then be possible to recreate the sound of an existing engine or a designed sound target. Driving strategy of the Active Sound Design system would make it possible to take into account the various driving conditions to provide sound feedback for drivers and pedestrians.