This speakerless 3D immersive high-end audio system for cars reduces space and weight. The unique system fills the vehicle interior with lifelike immersive sound. The new system is, literally, transforming the vehicle into an instrument.
At CES 2020 in Las Vegas (January 7-10), technology company Continental and audio specialist Sennheiser present a speakerless audio system for the vehicle interior.
Continental and Sennheiser revolutionize vehicle audio together. The two companies developed a premium sound system that reduces space and weight. The two partners are integrating Sennheiser’s patented AMBEO 3D audio technology with Continental’s Ac2ated Sound system. Continental’s innovative concept abandons conventional speaker technology altogether, exciting select surfaces in the vehicle interior to produce sound.
Combined with Sennheiser’s AMBEO Mobility, the concept achieves a breathtaking 3D sound reproduction that envelops passengers in an incredibly detailed and vivid soundscape and lets them enjoy their in-car entertainment to the fullest. In comparison to conventional audio systems, Ac2ated Sound enables a reduction of weight and space of up to 90 percent. In this way, the system not only produces the highest audio quality but is also perfectly suited for electric vehicles, where saving space and weight is a high priority.
“For Ac2ated Sound we have brought together the highest levels of expertise in the areas of acoustics, infotainment and vehicle design. In Sennheiser we have found an audio expert who helped us make our pioneering audio system even better,” said Helmut Matschi, member of the Executive Board and Head of the business area Vehicle Networking and Information at Continental. “Together, we have developed an audio system that creates premium sound out of nowhere. Additionally, Ac2ated Sound reduces space and weight. At Continental, we call this sustainability that’s music to your ears.”
Co-CEO Daniel Sennheiser added: “Our AMBEO immersive audio solutions deliver the ultimate quality in sound capture, processing and playback. Crucially, the ability to enjoy breathtaking immersive sound does not require specific 3D audio sources – AMBEO Mobility’s spatialization algorithm can turn any stereo material into an immersive experience. By intelligently analyzing the content, the patented algorithm artistically remixes the sound to provide an emotional experience, transporting the listener into the music.”
Inspired by the technology of classical string instruments, which use their wooden body as a resonance chamber, specially developed actuators excite specific surfaces in the vehicle interior. The result is an extremely natural sound experience for the occupants, who feel as if they are sitting in a concert hall surrounded by sound.
At the same time, the invisible audio technology gives vehicle designers and manufacturers the freedom to do more with an automobile’s interior, as they no longer need to account for large speaker faces taking up valuable space. With Ac2ated Sound, many components are unnecessary because the surfaces in the vehicle vibrate just like speaker diaphragms. Actuators cause components such as the A-pillar trim, door trim, roof lining and rear shelf to vibrate so that they emit sound in different frequency ranges.
Award-winning view through the hood – Continental ensures transparency
The “transparent hood” function is the first to be released on the market worldwide. It makes the area under the hood visible and allows the driver to see terrain and obstacles that would otherwise not be visible. Transparent hood is based on Continental’s Surround View system, which consists of four satellite cameras and an electronic control unit.
An intelligent image processing algorithm reconstructs the image below the vehicle and inserts this image exactly into the surround view displayed to the driver. Continental received the CES 2020 Innovation Award in the product category Vehicle Intelligence and Transportation for this innovative technology.