CES 2020

Continental and Sennheiser create an immersive vehicle sound system without speakers

New technology shown at CES allows for automakers to say goodbye to speakers inside their vehicles.

Photo courtesy of Sennheiser

Premium audio systems have what, like 12, 15 speakers? More? Contentnail and Sennheiser teamed up to create a concept car at CES that immerses its occupants in a sound cocoon without using a single speaker.

What?! How does that work?! The technology merges Sennheiser's AMBEO 3D audio technology with Continental's Ac2ated Sound system. The Continental system eschews speakers and instead uses surfaces within a vehicle to produce sound. When this technology is combined with Sennheiser's AMBEO Mobility, the result is "a breathtaking 3D sound reproduction that envelops passengers in an incredibly detailed and vivid soundscape and lets them enjoy their in-car entertainment to the fullest," according to a release.

Continental Sennheiser CES 2020 sound system The new type of system would save nearly 100 pounds of weight.Photo courtesy of Sennheiser

The weight savings is significant for autos. The Ac2ated Sound system enables up to a 90-percent reduction compared to the average weight of a sound system. Vehicles with the top-tier trim levels generally weigh more than their mid-grade and base model counterparts, which causes them to be less fuel efficient.

"For Ac2ated Sound we have brought together the highest levels of expertise in the areas of acoustics, infotainment and vehicle design. In Sennheiser we have found an audio expert who helped us make our pioneering audio system even better," said Helmut Matschi, member of the Executive Board and Head of the business area Vehicle Networking and Information at Continental. "Together, we have developed an audio system that creates premium sound out of nowhere. Additionally, Ac2ated Sound reduces space and weight. At Continental, we call this sustainability that's music to your ears."

But, how does it sound? According to the companies, the result of the technology is a natural sound experience that, for the occupants, feels, "as if they are sitting in a concert hall surrounded by sound."

The technology, if implanted in passenger vehicles, would allow designers more leeway in designing an interior, saving 75-90 percent of the space of a traditional audio system. It also would make the vehicles more fuel efficient.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The inter of the model features unique design with space age influence.

Photo courtesy of Aznom Automotive

The Aznom Palladium is all about extremes. It's set to be the world's first hyper limousine when it debuts later this month during the Milano-Monza Open Air Motor Show. In the lead up to its debut, Aznom Automotive has released a few teaser images of the exterior and interior of the vehicle.

Palladium's designers have described the car as a "hyper-limousine" that unites the traditional characteristics of a luxury sedan with dynamic drive qualities. Aznom lists the desirable sedan features as comfort, materials and manufacturing quality, ample space, and reliability. They also describe the Palladian as "powerful, strong and unstoppable like a true all-wheel drive off-road vehicle".

The seats in the Palladium are designed to recline.Photo courtesy of Aznom Automotive

The model was designed by Alessandro Camorali and his Camal Studio, which is based in Torino, Italy. He took inspiration from classic Greek and Roman style.

The Monza, Italy-based company is looking to create a vehicle that can be used by heads of state that employs the opulence of luxury automobiles from the 1930s. The vehicles Aznom admires had voluminous dimensions and all-terrain capability.

Azonm says that Palladium is "without a doubt a surprising vehicle and, in the manufacturer's intentions, is set up to fill an interesting and exclusive niche."

Its interior is filled with opulence - a reclining seat, refrigerated components, and hidden drawers fill the inside in the rendering shared by the company. The design is both futuristic and statuesque with brutish lines and space age-looking design.

Customers will be able to customize their model to include the materials of their choosing.

Stay tuned to learn more about the unique model.

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General Motors has surpassed more than 1 million Wi-Fi subscribers.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

In a world where we're constantly connected to everyone and everything, there's no escaping that vehicles have now become more than just transportation. They're nearly equal parts connected device.

In September, General Motors became the first automaker with more than 1 million subscriptions to its Wi-Fi-enabled data services provided by AT&T. They hit this milestone just six years after launching 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spots in models across their lineup in the U.S. and Canada.

Since that time, GM has integrated the communication device into a more vital role for customers. Its connectivity currently serves as a key component of OnStarCrisis Assist, which serves GM customers impacted by disasters. Earlier this year, approximately 180,000 drivers in the U.S. and Canada enrolled in Crisis Assist to help navigate the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

General Motors tablet Wi-Fi New General Motors SUVs offer streaming services rather than traditional entertainment stations for rear seat passengers.Photo courtesy of General Motors

Wi-Fi connectivity plans are most popular with owners of trucks and SUVs. In the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade, traditionanl DVD player entertainment systems have gone by the wayside in favor of streaming services. Available now in the App Store and Google Play for all U.S. unlimited data plan subscribers, the WarnerMedia RIDE app brings a unique smartphone or tablet experience with access to video content from Bleacher Report, Cartoon Network, CNN, HBO, TBS, TNT, truTV, Warner Bros. Television as well as other WarnerMedia content.

Next year, GM and AT&T plan to add HBO Max to a unique premium bundle of streaming content to complement the WarnerMedia RIDE and in-vehicle Wi-Fi offering.

"Being a leader in connected vehicles means constant innovation, listening to customers, and taking an inclusive approach by partnering with others who bring great entertainment and customer experiences into our vehicles," said Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president of Global Connected Services. "One million data subscribers is much more than just a number. It represents countless road trips where kids aren't asking, 'Are we there yet,' and people using their vehicles as classrooms and home offices just to make life a bit smoother. We're motivated to empower even more people moving forward."

"Connectivity is at the heart of today's driving experience," said Joe Mosele, vice president, AT&T Global Business Solutions. "We are incredibly excited to bring a fast and reliable Wi-Fi experience to millions of GM customers combined with some of WarnerMedia's most iconic brands and content libraries for more entertainment on the go."

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