Harman announced that a major European-based automaker will be integrating HARMAN’s HALOsonic External Sound Synthesis (ESS) solution in a line of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV). The HALOsonic ESS system generates sound outside the vehicle, particularly targeted at hybrid or electric vehicles that are virtually silent at low speeds.
Hybrids and electric vehicles present a safety concern at low speed as they often cannot be heard and recognized. HARMAN’s HALOsonic ESS solution generates a synthesized sound, dependent on speed and direction, and projects it from an exterior mounted speaker, giving an early identifiable warning to pedestrians that the car is approaching. The sound is projected only in the direction of travel, fading away almost instantly once the vehicle has passed. A synthetic engine ‘idle’ sound is also produced when the vehicle is switched on and placed in gear.
Several countries such as the US, Japan and parts of Europe have either implemented or are currently reviewing legislation to state that hybrid and electric vehicles must emit a recognizable sound above a minimum noise level to help improve pedestrian safety.
Harman offers a range of audio-based solutions under the HALOsonic banner that also help produce more environmentally-friendly cars beyond only hybrids or electric cars. Vehicle manufacturers are striving to meet new environmental and emission standards by a variety of means including, for instance, lowering vehicle weight by reducing the amount of noise-dampening insulation in a car’s headliner. In doing so, cabin noise often increases. HARMAN’s HALOsonic solutions can produce sounds not only external to the vehicle, but generate noise-canceling sound inside the vehicle that helps meet environmental goals while increasing driver comfort.