Lotus Engineering has revealed plans to develop noise-cancelling and creation systems.
The noise-cancelling systems will be used to improve cabin refinement by blocking sound intrusion, while the noise creation system will be used to warn pedestrians of the presence of otherwise near-silent electric and hybrid cars.
Lotus calls the systems Road Noise Cancellation, Engine Order Cancellation, and Electronic Sound Synthesis, and they will be developed in conjunction with Harman Becker Automotive Systems.
The Road Noise Cancellation and Engine Order Cancellation systems will provide vehicle manufacturers with the ability to greatly improve in-cabin refinement.
They reduce both overall noise levels and specific audible frequencies using electronic systems that determine the signal needed to provide noise cancellation. This signal is then seamlessly generated through the in-car entertainment system.
Exterior Electronic Sound Synthesis works by projecting a synthesised sound, dependant on speed, from speakers at the front and back of car in order to improve pedestrian safety.
This is especially important for electric and hybrid vehicles, which can be difficult to hear at lower speeds due to their quiet drive mechanism.
The occupants of the car can also benefit from a system called Internal Electronic Sound Synthesis. This creates engine speed and throttle dependant sounds that are audible through the in-car entertainment system.
Lotus says working prototypes of the systems already exist, and that it is working with car manufacturers to use them on production vehicles.