Trying to figure out what to put on the radio can be a real challenge when you have a bunch of people riding around in a car together. One person wants to listen to country, another wants to listen to rap, and the third wants to shut the radio off altogether and use the time in the car to make a call to an old friend using Bluetooth. It’s nearly impossible to keep everyone happy!
That might not be the case for much longer, though. The Hyundai Motor Group is working on something called a “separate sound zone control system” that will, at least in theory, cut way down on the number of arguments over the car radio. The Separated Sound Zone feature from Hyundai will allow everyone in a car to listen to whatever they want through a car’s speakers without disrupting others and without having to rely on headphones.
So, how does it work? It’s a fairly complicated process. But generally speaking, Hyundai has figured out a way to arrange speakers in a car so that they can send out different wavelengths of sound in different directions and hit their target audience inside of the car. The speakers can also neutralize sounds that their target audience doesn’t want to hear.
That means that someone sitting in the driver’s seat could hear something completely different from a vehicle’s speakers than someone sitting right next to them in the passenger’s seat. Those in the backseat could also hear something different than what those up front are hearing. Hyundai is still tweaking the technology, but it sounds like it could prove to be a breakthrough in the automotive industry.
There are all kinds of practical applications for the Separated Sound Zone feature. On a basic level, it’ll allow everyone in a car to listen to whatever their hearts desires. But there are many benefits that go beyond that. It could, for example, help drivers navigate better by allowing them to focus on what their GPS is telling them rather than the music that’s playing. It could also help parents enjoy a talk radio show without disturbing a sleeping baby in the backseat. Additionally, people can take phone calls using their Bluetooth hands-free car kits without worrying about others listening in on them.
From a vehicle accident investigation perspective one of the potential issues which will have to be overcome deals with the sound cancellation. Anyone installing and using this technology has to make sure that they do not cancel sounds for the driver that are important to the proper and safe operation of the vehicle.
Hyundai is still two or three years away from installing the Separated Sound Zone feature in their vehicles. But once the feature is available, it could be a game-changer for those riding around in cars with multiple passengers.
At 4N6XPRT Systems, we understand the importance of vehicle safety. We’ve spent more than 20 years developing powerful accident reconstruction software tools like 4N6XPRT StifCalcs to help attorneys, insurance companies and law enforcement agencies establish fault in car accidents.