Plenty of auto manufacturers have put an emphasis on reducing cabin noise in the past few years, but for as quiet as many of those marques have made their vehicles, they aren’t perfect. Now, a new company from Israel called Silentium has an answer.
Car buyers have widely variable conceptions of cabin noise. Some people like a cabin that doesn’t cancel out the noise of their vehicle’s engine—that noise is indicative of power and quality. Other people like it as quiet as possible, especially in machines that don’t really need to be loud. If your Ford Mustang is loud, it’s because it’s a big, angry, high-powered car. If your Mazda 2 is loud, it’s probably indicative of poor engineering since that noise doesn’t have a purpose.
That said, low-frequency cabin noise has been found to make drivers sleepier and perform worse behind the wheel. This is the noise that Silentium is trying to eliminate.
Here’s how it works, from Carscoops:
Their tech is very similar to what you’d find inside high-end noise-cancelling headphones. First you need up to six strategically positioned accelerometers on the chassis to monitor unwanted road noise, sending signals to an on-board control unit powered by Silentium’s software.
The program then plays an equivalent anti-noise signal through the car’s speaker system, which for JLR for example happens via a Meridian sound system.
So, it’s less about cancelling out noise and more about combatting it. When the frequency of the road and the frequency of the noise-reducing system hit your ears, they cancel each other out.
In addition to encouraging better driver performance, Silentium’s tech could also lead to lower vehicle weights, since manufacturers don’t have to fill their cars with noise-dampening materials that don’t serve any other functional purpose.
Jaguar was the first automaker to fit this technology into its cars, with the Jaguar Land Rover being the first. Silentium is ready to start shipping out its tech to any other automakers that are interested in fitting it into their cars.