Kia Motors has created in car audio technology that would make it possible to create individual sound zones in a car. Thus individual passengers in the car would have access to isolated audio streams, and they would also get privacy for hands-free phone calls, without anyone else listening to their conversations.
It is Kia’s NVH Research lab which came up with the next-generation Separated Sound Zone (SSZ) technology. This technology allows each passenger in a vehicle to experience an audio stream that is customized based on their needs and preferences. This will pertain to vehicle alerts which perhaps only the driver needs to hear, music, and hands-free phone calls. These are just a few examples of the kind of sounds that passengers may or may not wish to access.
One of the key reasons Kia had for developing this technology is that the chances of driverless cars becoming a common sight on roads are quite high in the future. With less attention needing to be paid to the road, there will be more focus on entertainment options and not everyone has the same preferences when it comes to entertainment.
Kang-duck Ih, research fellow at Kia’s NVH Research Lab said that in the era of autonomous navigation, there will be high demand from customers for increasingly customizable entertainment options within their vehicles, and this will include technological innovations like the Separated Sound System. Such technologies are geared towards providing drivers and passengers with tailored, independent audio spaces will experience a more comfortable and entertaining ride.
In addition to delivering an isolated audio experience, passengers in the vehicle would be able to converse freely by creating and controlling acoustic fields of the car.
Each vehicle will have a huge array of in-car speakers which will work in a manner similar to noise cancellation systems but users will not need to use headphones.
Kia has been working on the technology from 2014, and says the new technology will be ready for installation in mass production vehicles within one or two years.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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