It’s time to hear the sound signature of the future vehicle

Special IRCAM Amplify forum 21 edition – chapter 3/5

Watch the replay of the 2021 forum

Speaker : Benedicte Le Nindre, UX/UI Program Director, Renault

Sound and silence can work together. In the past, we were reducing all noise in cars, but we finally understood something. We came back to the topic of sound, because sound can fight against the parasite noises in cars.

Benedicte Le Nindre, UX/UI Program Director, Renault

Here comes the sound

The audio drives the automotive industry. Vehicles and sound have always been linked together. For mechanic purposes for starting, but not only. Challenges of security has slowly developed in the industry, and audio sounded very quickly as one of the most efficient technologies to help drivers and protect the others. Car engine, doors, fonctionnalites… Being in a car is being surrounded by many sounds. Today the biggest companies are taking it a step further. Now it is time to think about autonomous vehicles, ultra-connectivity, energy saving by the sound etc.

Sound and vision

The sound has a strong power of communication. Benedicte Le Nindre is the UX/UI Program Director at Renault. For her, “it is a very important topic, there are so many ways to apply sound in the automotive industry. Sound HMI warns the driver with various noises already. These technologies are more and more in symbiosis with the car environment. The idea is to make the driving experience safer, but without being intrusive and stressful.”

Voice interaction is developing very fast in the car industry : “to command the car with our voice instead of pushing some buttons on the control board. It’s both safer and more comfortable”, Benedicte Le Nindre says. Renault, for example, besides its historical partnership with IRCAM, should add Google assistant in its vehicules very soon. And puts the audio on the next level in auto.

Hear me, remember me

Sound efficiency, check. Safety, check. What about now ? Now it’s time to talk about pleasure for the users, from the driver to the passenger. And for this, every modern car needs a top-quality sound system. “Embedded sound systems are way more efficient than before. The car is the better place to be carried by the sound, and to listen to music”, Benedicte Le Nindre says. For example, Renault has a partnership with Bose and Devialet for some of its vehicles.

How do people remember the sound of a car that doesn’t make any ? With the emergence of electric cars, imagine a sound identity has become a priority for constructors. “We try to create that sound identity at Renault, but also to go further. Our goal is to go along with the customer, from the start to the end of his user experience”, Bénédicte Le Nindre says. “A specific sound for the website and the app, a music to listen to in the distributors or in a commercial…. And make the user remember it! We need all these sounds to be consistent”.

IRCAM Amplify technologies

IRCAM Amplify has many technologies and qualifications to offer in audio. We are involved in a very large spectrum of areas such as the car industry. Design experience, interior HMI (human-machine interfaces), the VSP (Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians), user experience and personification. “Our purpose at IRCAM Amplify is to adapt all the technologies and solutions we created for other systems and find a specific application for your vehicles”, says Nicolas Pingnelain, commercial director at IRCAM Amplify.

– Sound restitution and embedded sound systems

A brand new technological and ecological question. How can we have the best possible sound? How can we be able to reduce the weight at the same time? At IRCAM Amplify we know how to control the car speakers to increase their capacity and sound quality without increasing their weight. 

– Sound spatialisation

Make the sound as natural as we can and make the customer believe that he is outside on the street, in the country… The idea is to recreate that type of perception in vehicles.

“With SPAT, from IRCAM Amplify, used in a lot of french cars, we are working on the next generation of vehicles. We want to tend to the most intuitive and natural sound that we can to create the most immersive experience”.

What about the sound of electric vehicles? Nicolas Pingnelain added:

How can we create a sound identity for a car that doesn’t make any noise? And then create a sound signature to warn people when there is any danger? We want to make users and people on the street remember a specific sound as the one of a specific model. We actually did this with the Renault Zoé, and it is only the beginning…

Nicolas Pingnelain, Head of Sales – IRCAM Amplify

IRCAM Amplify works on the sound signature for the cars of the future.

Contact us to learn more about these technologies.

Want to learn more about the power of sound in mobility?

Watch the Forum on the Power of Sound in Industry 2022, to better understand the new uses of audio for a shared world.

Not that hidden figure…

of French people would like to hear more varied voices from vocal assistants (GPS, Alexa, Siri,…).
OpnionWay Survey made for IRCAM Amplify 2020

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