Car & Driver's March 2019 issue includes an article on sound Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Electronic Sound Synthesis (ESS). With the September 2019 deadline looming for auto manufacturers to meet PEDESTRIAN SAFETY ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 2010 (PSEA), which governs EV & HEV sound emissions, there is opportunity for new automotive products that detect and emit sound at low speeds in these vehicles (< 18.6 mph). There is also the opportunity for the reverse, removing annoying sounds. Innovative sound creation and sound reduction systems are relying on sensor data to determine what sounds to synthesize and what sound to deaden.
I was reminded yesterday of how cars play a role in our identity, and separately how new auto safety regulations for electric and hybrid vehicles create an opportunity for auto manufacturers to be creative. I was picking up my 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid from a car stereo retailer in Austin, and while I waited, I glanced at the stacks of sub woofers waiting for owners. They ranged in price from $149 to over $1000. Admittedly, my family has installed high-end stereos with sub-woofers in cars ranging from a 1992 5.0 Mustang GT to a Toyota Sienna mini-van, however a low-rider in the showroom brought to mind low-decibel vibrations at intersections when, by chance, I was sitting at a red light alongside a low-rider. The car and the sub-woofer are an expression of the driver and their identity.