HARMAN innovation is transforming the driving experience and making it safer.

Electric and hybrid cars have unusually quiet drive systems, with most not emitting the same audible feedback as traditional vehicles. This can have an impact on safety. Drivers lack the familiar engine sounds that help keep them aware of speed, while pedestrians and nearby motorists may not hear a vehicle approaching.

HARMAN HALOsonic uses sound to alter the driving experience. It can add sound, when needed, and help remove it when it’s not. Much like the noise-cancelling headphones used with many portable audio systems, our techniques eliminate most unwanted sounds to improve the overall driving experience.

HALOsonic Electronic Sound Synthesis (ESS) is a safety solution that equips electric and hybrid vehicles with audible feedback both inside and outside of the car. The HALOsonic controller synthesizes traditional engine sounds in direct correlation to vehicle speed. These are projected from the front of the car to alert nearby pedestrians through high-fidelity speakers.

ESS can also enhance the driving experience. As automakers make vehicles more energy-efficient, they're turning to lighter building materials. While this yields more efficient cars, these materials lack the sound-damping qualities of their heavier counterparts. For example, sports car makers are reducing engine size and number of cylinders to improve efficiency, and ESS is used to continue to provide the driver with a sporty engine sound that maintains the emotional thrill of a high performance vehicle.

HALOsonic Engine Order Cancellation (EOC) is a radical new way to reduce engine noises. Traditional methods use heavy, noise-dampening insulation that adds weight to the vehicle and results in higher CO2 emissions and poorer performance. EOC technology sends a noise-canceling audio signal through the vehicle stereo, tuned to engine speed. In addition, microphones mounted in the cabin allow for fine-tuning of the cancellation signal at each occupant position.

HALOsonic Road Noise Cancellation (RNC) addresses an additional source of driver irritation and fatigue, road noise. Using signals received from accelerometers placed throughout the suspension to predict the noise transferred into the cabin, the system “listens” to the hum of the road and generates an anti-noise wave, played back through the audio system. As with EOC, highly sensitive microphones inside the car help to fine-tune the cancellation signal.