Not a new thing
I seem to recall Lotus working on such a setup in the 1990s, when DSP tech must have been orders of magnitude more limited. I think they got a Citroen AX sounding like a V8...
Lotus has announced a raft of systems designed to solve all your pesky car noise problems. And that includes the owners of e-cars, whose worry is that their vehicles make no noise whatsoever. The systems are being developed in partnership with Harman Becker Automotive Systems - and seem to have all bases covered. Drivers of …
I was at a presentation by the Lotus chaps who created all of this. Naturally they made it look (and sound) pretty impressive. However, even they are cringing at the thought of the Halfords lot plugging the system into their Corsas to make them sound like Aston Martins.
One comment that stood out for me was no-one knew what the sound projection system for quiet electric cars should be. It turns out that because Holywood has been "making" sci-fi cars for years, people expect them to sound like TIE fighters or whatever. So that may well be what we'll end up with, even though the choice of sound is essentially limitless. (Fart noises, anyone?)
Day 1. Steam locomotive.
Day 2. Jet engine.
Day 3. Soundtrack from a pr0n.
Day 4. Stuka dive bomber.
Day 5. The sound of my missus grinding her teeth in her sleep.
Day 6. The sound of chalk on a blackboard, coupled with someone breaking up bits of polystyrene.
And just to finish the week off on a high note;
Day 7. Chronic wet flatulence interspersed with the occasional sob and/or groan.
....I wonder if they could come up with a gizmo to counteract the "Wayne's mobile disco" syndrome where Wayne, so rightly proud of the huge sums of benefits money he has spent pimping his ride (normally a beat-up Nova/Metro/Rover), decides to share his appalling taste in music (Hip Hop/Rave/Trance) with the innocent general public by driving his wreck round and round the block, windows down, and stereo on so loud it makes your ears bleed.
A TIE Fighter?? You do realise that these things have such rubbish life support that the pilots have to wear spacesuits to stay alive?? The things would never get an NCAP rating!!
Better to use a highly modified Correllian YT-1300 freighter. Not anly can you imitate the sound of going point-5 beyond lightspeed, but the extra large radar dish will spot rozzers with more than enough time for you to hide your spice in the super-secret compartments.
Mines the one with the Wookiee fur in the pocket..
Didn't you run a story that silent electric cars should have ringtones to warn pedestrians?
Oh, yes, there it is over 4 years ago: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/09/28/electric_car_ringtones/
Can I have mine in Phantom Menace Pod Racer mode? And can I replace the horn sound with that of a laser blaster?
I might be wrong, but I swear on, er, something vaguely valuable, that Lotus have been refining this kit since at least the mid-nineties.
Anyone else remember that, or is it just me?
Anyway, I'll have a screaming Ford BDA on throttle bodies, or a Metro 6R4 in turbo'd Super Special ralllycross spec as my soundtracks, thanks. Although not on a G-wizz....
Old hat this. IIRC this debuted on the Esprit where, at the touch of a button, you could switch between calm, quiet and conversation friendly and sodding great turbocharged V8 a foot behind your head.
The latter of these two settings had nothing to do with clever engine emulation technology built into the ICE system, but was produced as a side effect by the sodding great turbocharged V8 mounted a foot behind your head.
I can remember Lotus announcing exactly the same technology a few years back, around 2000/2001 if I remember correctly.
Even the intended application was the same.
I was interested at the time as I'd completed development of pretty much exactly the same thing a year earlier.
The problem for Lotus is that they probably aren't able to bring much to the table product wise, everything hardware and software wise about this is well known and openly available, and as a result all the usual OEMs would be perfectly able to churn out their own versions without Lotus seeing any benefit. Indeed it's already happened as this really isn't new stuff.
Still, good to see they aren't turning down an opportunity for a press release.
Most noise generated by a standard off-the-shelf car is from the wheels and other rotating gubbins, not the engine. This is more than enough to warn other road users of an approaching car. Generating extra sound is merely the preserve of boy racers (like with extra-large exhausts) who wish to warn other road users of the diminished size of their penises.
And do you seriously think electric 'performance' car buyers will route the sound of a V8 through the external speakers? I think Crazy Frog or some horrific garage track is more likely.
As someone who has had the oportunity to drive the Mitsubishi MiEV around a busy town centre, far too many people rely too much on their hearing when crossing the road and not looking at all. It scares the living daylights out of them when you beep your horn from 3 foot away.
Great head turner as you purr past with only the tyre noise to break the silence.
Tyre noise only dominates at speeds higher than about 30 km/h (higher for lorries). Take away the engine noise and you might not be able to hear the approaching car before it's too close. So such a system does make sense.
Though I would like to see a law that forbids anything but some standard sounds. Penalty for uploading "Crazy Frog" or similar aural atrocities should be permanent loss of driving licence.
"Hey! Stop Stepping On My Gas Pedal! I'm Going As Fast As I Can!"
"JEEESUS CHRIST! Get Out Of the Way! You Think I'm Joking?!"
"I'm Running Out Of Juice Heah! I Need To Find Me A Socket! Hey, Baby! You Think You Can Handle My Plug?"
"What the HELL is WRONG With You People!? Can't You Hear this Goddamn Car?"
"JEESUS CHRIST! This Guy Is NUTS! You'd Better Get Out Of His Way!"
These things are designed to operate in space....mostly vacuum....with NO sound transmission capability. So they're going to be really, really quiet, right?
"There's no news on whether the system can be tuned to cancel out the noise made by a couple of screaming kids in the back seats, though."
Now honestly, my sprog were never allowed to do this in the back seat or anywhere else. Who in their right F-ing mind puts up with this?
Yes, it is. Lotus managed to bring it out a while ago. I think it was some lowly Nissan - and no more. However, this new system is bigger, better, faster, stronger. Car hi-fis have improved and digital technology (as well as cheaper microphones, actuators etc) now means that an active control system is much easier and cheaper to install.
Another thought on making electric cars noisy. The idea is to only have the sound projected low out of the front of the car only - so only those who need to hear it (i.e. in front) can hear it. This is unlike conventional engines which radiate sound in all directions out of the engine and exhaust.
"According to Lotus, “more futuristic sounds for electric vehicles can be created using sampled sounds and generated waveforms”, which will be handy for those who want their Tesla Roadster to sound like a TIE fighter."
Sorry to burst all the nerdbubbles (and, yes, I'm fan of Star Wars, too), but there is no sound in space, therefore TIE fighters don't make a sound.
I won't add to the number of posts already made concerning the amount of time this has been around. As said before, it's not strictly speaking new, just improved.
But in respect of it's noise suppression capabilities it's a cheap fix really. Compared to doing the job properly it's a bit of a cheat.
So expect it to be optional on loads of motors very soon!
Remember when Cmdr. Striker used to drive into the TV company that was the cover for the head quarters, sis car used to go "Woosh". So it was probably another of Gerry's and Mr Medding's firsts along with forward facing wings, etc. Evidence on this website: http://ufoseries.com/soundEffects/index.html
And probably on ITV4 about now. Some days its like "Life on Mars" on that channel.
Coat: Mine's the tight fitting one with too much use of Velcro.