Well, it does not concern the extravagant materials used in the cabin. Nor to the level of personalisation one can configure a Rolls Royce cabin. But something similar to the experience that RR cabin provides. That absolute shunning from the rest of the world. That feeling of serenity accompanied by almost none of the exterior noises. Maybe something akin to that experience of isolation.
Hyundai has announced the development of its first-ever Road Noise Active Noise Control (RANC) system. Building upon the firm’s existing Active Noise Control (ANC) technology, the RANC counters any exterior noises by emitting soundwaves inverted to incoming noise, thereby cancelling it out entirely.
Rather than guarding out the exterior by adding heavy noise-insulating materials, the RANC, touted to be a world first, works from the inside. The software-driven technology uses an acceleration sensor and a control computer to analyse the road’s noises and vibrations. As soon as it can compute those two, the RANC with the help of DSP (Digital Signal Processor) and microphones, it produces an inverted soundwave to that. All of this takes just 0.002 seconds to happen!
The existing ANC technology had a small flaw. It could only duplicate soundwaves based on the occurrence of the noise. Something constant, like the engine noise. However, with the addition of R and a couple of more advanced technologies, the new system can analyse various types of noises and produce inverted soundwaves, all in real-time. Or with a 0.002-second delay.
Tested measuring the effects of RANC were also carried out. Based on tests evaluating road surface, vehicle speed, and different seating positions, RANC was able to reduce in-cabin noise by 3dB. Hyundai claims that 3dB level to be roughly half the noise level as compared without RANC. To our human ears, the difference is extremely minute to comprehend.
You might think this was a waste of time then, but no, it wasn’t entirely. If microphones, controllers and software can reduce the in-cabin noise experience to 3dB, I believe this reduction can potentially expand to higher digits, given time. On what context? One word - Tesla. If a company can almost execute the idea of autonomous cars, this should be like peeling a banana.
Hyundai isn’t solely responsible for such an innovation. The company has been at it for about six years now. While the pre-production phase saw participation by Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, WeAcom, ARE, BurnYoung and more, the mass production phase has been taken over by global car audio company, Harman.
Hyundai claims the RANC is already available in specific models, including the likes of Genesis. With the advent of EVs which are already muted due to the lack of mechanical parts, a serene cabin experience won’t be a luxury anymore. It looks like Rolls Royce is about to have one feather plucked out of its cap soon.