AUDI e sound for electric cars
original content
apr 05, 2012
AUDI e sound for electric cars

AUDI ‘e-sound’, a realtime sound generator for electric cars, was developed in the ‘acoustic test bed’ facility shown above



for future use in its electric ‘e-tron’ models, AUDI has developed ‘e-sound’, a realtime technique of generating synthetic motor sounds
for the essentially silent vehicle in order to warn pedestrians and cyclists of the car’s proximity. while recent legislative efforts in the US
are making it mandatory that companies add artificial engine sounds to electric vehicles, manufacturers are taking the requirement
as an opportunity to experiment with the creation of a perfect sound signature to represent the brand.

with the new AUDI system, the ‘e-tron’ car does not broadcast prerecorded engine noises but instead generates sound in realtime
to the millisecond, calculated based on data including the electric motor’s rotational speed, vehicle speed, loads, and other parameters.
the result is played via a loudspeaker affixed to the undercarriage of the car. each model of ‘e-tron’ is planned to have a unique

during normal operation, the sound produced ranges between five and eight watts, although the system has been tested to handle
as much as 40 watts. a small percentage of the sound also enters the vehicle’s interior, but the amount was kept intentionally minimal
to maintain the quieter atmosphere that according to the engineers ‘best conveys the unique experience of electric driving.



during testing



‘e-sound’ was developed in an ‘acoustic test bed’ facility, a large room whose walls are covered in dense rows of sound absorbers,
here 1-meter long wedges filled with glass wool. the space is designed to mimic the sound quality of the wall-less outdoors.
in this facility, a dynamometer test bed sits between two rows of microphones, permitting noise to be measured as though the vehicle
were driving by.

after extensive testing in the ‘acoustic test bed’, AUDI engineers took the ‘e-tron’ prototype to the streets to evaluate exterior conditions
like wind and the sound of other vehicles.



demo of the system and discussion with AUDI engineers about ‘e-sound’



some science-fiction films provided inspiration suitable for certain frequency ranges,‘ considers AUDI acoustics engineer rudolf halbmeir.
there was nothing in the real world which offered quite the right
sound. when you compose music or sounds, you have to be true
to your
convictions. the moment you cut corners, you essentially end up with
elevator music.



view of some of the internal electronics

comments policy
login with designboom
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

AUDI (85 articles)

product library