In-vehicle Speech Intelligibility for the Hearing Impaired Using Speech Intelligibility Index
Individuals with hearing impairments often report hearing difficulties within the driving environment. This is an ever growing issue given the increasing population of senior aged drivers. In this study, Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) is used to predict in-vehicle speech intelligibility of individuals having common hearing impairments. The effect of hearing threshold levels obtained from audiograms and the impact of vehicle background noise measured for various vehicle operating conditions, road surface types and talker and listener configurations are investigated. This is done by using measured and user-defined speech spectra as described by ANSI S3.5-1997 (Methods for Calculation of the Speech Intelligibility Index). The results demonstrate poor speech intelligibility for most situations considered and provide evidence for the need to improve automotive interior sound quality in terms of speech intelligibility for hearing impaired drivers including aged drivers.