Noise-canceling technology allows for quietly efficient car

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: September 27, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Design

DEARBORN, MICH. (Sept. 27, 5:30 p.m. ET) — Ford Motor Co. has found that efficiency comes at a price. Noise.

When engineers for the Dearborn-based automaker tuned the engine for Ford’s new 2013 Fusion hybrid sedan to get the most miles out of each gallon, the engine produced what the carmaker termed “unpleasant powertrain sounds.”

So to keep the efficiency without annoying drivers and their passengers, Ford is equipping the Fusion with “active noise-cancellation technology,” complete with speakers integrated into the headliner and flooring and a control box that can generate a reverse sound signal inside the car to mask the sound, it said in a Sept. 26 press release.

Automakers and their suppliers have been looking at a variety of noise issues related to future cars for years. The industry has faced issues with requirements in Europe to reduce engine noise outside cars so they are less annoying to pedestrians. But it also faces concerns globally that electric cars and hybrids must produce some kind of sound as a warning to alert people who are visually impaired that a car is nearby.

There have been active noise-cancellation systems in air-intake manifolds, extra sound absorption layered between the passenger compartment and engine to block sounds and additional film layers in auto glass to cut out road noise.

Ford’s system is designed to keep drivers comfortable while they also achieve 47 mpg performance.

The Fusion hybrid places three microphones within its headliner, with two microphones over the first row of seats and one over the rear seats. Those microphones measure engine noise and send a signal to the electronic active noise-cancellation control module mounted behind the instrument panel.

The module will generate opposing sound waves to cancel out the objectionable sound, and direct that sound through the audio system.

The hybrid will make it into dealer showrooms in North America later this fall.


Comments

Noise-canceling technology allows for quietly efficient car

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: September 27, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Auto supplier Motus adds more production as it buys Leon Interiors

March 5, 2015 10:52 am ET

Motus Integrated Technologies, a Tier 1 automotive interiors supplier, is getting bigger, adding the assets of Tier 2 supplier Leon Interiors Inc.    More

Image

Wright Plastic Products buys Tennessee auto supplier Hope Industries

March 4, 2015 3:51 pm ET

Michigan custom injection molder Wright Plastic Products Co. LLC has acquired Tennessee-based automotive supplier Hope Industries Inc., the companies ...    More

Image

Best Places To Work: No. 9, Team 1 Plastics Inc.

March 4, 2015 12:11 pm ET

One long-standing, often-cited problem in the plastics industry is the shortage of skilled workers. Automotive injection molder Team 1 Plastics Inc....    More

Image

Toyota says Mirai fuel cell sedan represents a 'new start' for the carmaker

March 2, 2015 11:55 am ET

Toyota Motor Corp.'s most advanced vehicle, a car that runs on hydrogen and emits only water, has had an ironically low-tech birth and has an equally ...    More

Image

Plastic Omnium makes China investment push

February 26, 2015 4:35 pm ET

Three of the six new plants that automotive molder Plastic Omnium SA plans this year will be in China, part of a broader push it’s making in Asi...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events