High-Tech Problem Solvers

Hyundai's new next-level noise canceling technology to debut on new Genesis model

Hyundai is employing new noise cancelling technology in an upcoming Genesis model.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group

Noise cancelling technology has been around for a while and is employed by nearly every automaker. Whether it's dense foam insulation, thick carpets, technological innovations, or recommending a certain tire compound, there are many ways automakers work to keep road and engine noise from permeating the cabin.

Hyundai is taking those traditional methods of sound-blocking even further with the world's first Road Noise Active Noise Control (RANC) system, which the company says "dramatically reduces" cabin noise.

RANC is the next step in active noise control technology and works by emitting sound waves that have been inverted to incoming noise. Think of it like two magnets repelling each other.

Previously, active noise control technology only allowed predicted noises to be able to be muted.

"RANC is a remarkable technology which takes existing noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) technology to the next level," said Gangdeok Lee, a Research Fellow of NVH Research Lab, "We will continue to take the leading position of NVH highest level of quietness to customers."

Hyundai Genesis noise cancelling RANC Hyundai has developed new noise cancelling technology that uses sound waves to repel incoming sound waves.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group

The new RANC technology, which took six years to develop, analyzes road noise in real time, using an acceleration sensor, and calculates the vibration from the road to the car. A computer analyzes the results and the system optimizes the signal in less than 0.002 seconds, adjusting accordingly.

RANC is able to calculate the sound independently for the driver, passenger, and rear seats.

Hyundai testing revealed that RANC is able to reduce in-cabin noise by 3dB, roughly half of what is currently experienced in Hyundai vehicles.

This technology has further reaching implications. Because Hyundai will not have to rely on heavy, dense foams and carpet to help with cabin noise, they are able to lessen the amount of or remove those elements from vehicles, allowing for more passenger space and less weight. In turn, this could make vehicles more fuel efficient.

The system will be mass produced by Harman.

Hyundai Motor Group has completed domestic and American patent applications for the location of sensors and signal selection method, the core technology of RANC.

The technology will begin to be applied to an upcoming Genesis model.

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Sony's team is testing the Vision-S on the streets of Austria.

Photo courtesy of Sony

One year ago Sony surprised the crowds at CES with the Vision -S, a concept vehicle meant to further the discussion on safety, security, and entertainment. The vehicle has moved from concept to prototype, taking to the roads of Europe for testing.

The car has been driving the roads of Austria since December 2020, according to the company, for technical evaluation. Evaluation of what? We're so glad you asked.

If the car is technologically similar to what has presented at CES last year, on-board is Sony's imaging and sensing technologies as well as software regulated using Sony's AI, telecommunication, and cloud technologies.

Sony Vision-S The Sonny Vision S is a working vehicle prototype now. Photo courtesy of Sony

The car, which was built in cooperations with Magna Steyr, features 33 sensors, including CMOS image sensors and time of flight (ToF) sensors within the vehicle. These sensors are designed to detect and recognize people and objects inside and outside the vehicle, and provide "highly advanced driving support."

Each of the two rows of seating in the vehicle features Sony's 360 Reality Audio system. Bose has similar technology built into the Nissan Kicks.

The crossover-lie car's front seats have a panoramic screen in front of them that has the ability to display rich content.

Does this mean that Sony will begin to make cars? The quick answer is no. Sony does not appear itching to get into the car business though the products that result from this testing will likely be available to automakers offering additional competition for components in a fast-paced marketplace where the technology is evolving quickly.

The real winner here could be consumers who will benefit from the stiff completion between suppliers and be on the receiving end of better technology because of it.

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Volvo has teamed up with the City of Gothenburg to create an emissions-free zone.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Volkswagen recently announced that it's turning a Greek island green. Volvo is taking their efforts a little closer to home. Volvo Cars has teamed up with the City of Gothenburg, in Sweden, to create new urban zones that will be used as testbeds for future sustainable technologies. Volvo's headquarters is located just west of the town center.

Gothenburg Green City Zone aims to create an emissions-free zone within Sweden's largest port city, taking a holistic approach that will combine the efforts of many technological and government entities working together. To achieve this, the partnership is looking toward climate-neutral transportation modes and a connected infrastructure. As part of the testbed, Volvo plans to run robotaxis operated by its fully-owned mobility provider M, within the zone.

2-Volvo XC40 Recharge The all-electric Volvo XC40 Recharge recently went on sale in the U.S.Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

"Essentially, we initiate a project that intends to limit the number of cars in the city – which is fully in line with our company's purpose," said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Cars. "This is already proven by our investment in the shared mobility service M, who have developed proprietary A.I. technology to improve efficiency and utilization. We want to be involved in creating the cities of the future and keep them livable. This initiative gives us an opportunity to do that and take on responsibility in our own hometown at the same time."

Technology that will be tested in the zone includes geo-enabling solutions and services ensuring that cars in the zone operate in electric-only mode and remain within speed limits, as well as traffic infrastructure that can connect to active safety features in cars and share information between road users. Audi is testing similar vehicle-to-infrastructure technology in Georgia and Virginia.

"We want to use our knowledge and technology to help create a future city that is electrified, connected, shared and climate-neutral," said Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer at Volvo Cars. "This is an opportunity to lead by example, by testing new technologies and services in a live large scale environment, we can show that if it is possible here, it is possible anywhere."

The partnership is also exploring fully electric mobility hubs, autonomous taxis, and an easy-to-use charging network for electric cars. One aspect of this technology may be park-and-charge sans cord, a method that is getting tested in Norway right now.

Volvo isn't the first city to develop an incubator for emerging tech. Toyota recently announced that it will expand the company's research into renewable energy by creating a city at the base of Mt. Fuji.

The Green City Zone initiative starts in spring 2021 and will gradually scale up going forward.

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