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Bose uses active noise cancellation to block road sound

by Justin King

QuietComfort Road Noise Control joins Bose's Engine Harmonic Cancellation and Engine Harmonic Enhancement technologies.

Bose has outlined its latest automotive technology, QuietComfort Road Noise Control (RNC), that aims to help minimize road noise via active cancellation.

The company points out that conventional road-noise mitigation methods focus on adding thick insulation to the vehicle body or using special tires that trade performance for lower noise.

"For years, we've been asked why we can't simply adapt our noise cancelling headphone technology to vehicle cabins for a quieter driving experience," says Bose Automotive active sound management solutions manager John Feng. "But we know it's much more difficult to control noise in a large space like a car cabin compared to the relatively small area around your ears."

Typical noise cancellation systems work using microphones and speakers alone. The automotive RNC tech adds accelerometers to continuously monitor vibrations that create noise. Microphones monitor residual noise levels to help adapt the signal for different road surfaces and automatically adjust over time as the vehicle ages.

The company will collaborate with automakers during the vehicle development process to custom-engineer QuietComfort RNC into future cars, with production expected to begin by the end of 2021. RNC joins several other Bose technologies focused on either canceling or 'enhancing' engine noise.