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Lotus Engineering and Harman International have announced a partnership to develop Active Noise Control (ANC) technology for cars. Lotus will continue to develop their existing range of ANC technologies, and Harmon Becker will be the exclusive manufacturer of the systems, which could be customized and sold to OEMs as upscale infotainment sytems. ANC technologies currently being developed by Lotus include Road Noise Cancellation, Engine Order Cancellation, and Electronic Sound Synthesis.
There's a full press release after the jump, but basically Road Noise Cancellation and Engine Order Cancellation help reduce cabin noise without adding performance-sapping weight in the form of sound deadening material. Using microphones and speakers in the cabin, they monitor engine and road noise and produce soundwaves that counteract those unwanted waves, effectively eliminating the sounds and making the cabin quieter.
The external Electronic Sound Synthesis (ESS) technology produces artificial vehicle noise for quiet-running electric and hybrid vehicles to help with pedestrian safety. An internal ESS can make those same vehicles mimic the traditional driving experience by producing artificial engine speed and throttle sounds. We've reported on this tech before, as the soundtrack could be customizable to simulate everything from a sci-fi spaceship to a classic petrol-burning internal combustion engine.