Filed under: Technology
BMW sound engineer Manuel Reichle and the 635d - Click above for high-res image gallery
When considering how to go about improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions, we typically think of smaller engines, alternative fuels and electrification. One area that doesn't typically come to mind is that of sound design and acoustics. While the noises produced by a vehicle don't directly affect fuel efficiency, soundtracks are important because they are often a prime determinant in whether a given powertrain solution is acceptable to drivers and passengers.
Companies like BMW
, General Motors
and others have been actively pursuing mechanisms of controlling noise at the source in order to create more flexibility for modifying the powertrains. A key example is the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox
with its 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder gasoline engine. GM added active noise cancellation
so it could allow the engine to spend more time running at lower speeds where the engine tends to make more of a low booming sound. Without the noise cancellation technology, the engine's sountrack would turn off drivers.
Similarly, BMW has been carefully studying the structures of engine blocks and engine bays. Careful application of ribs and tuning of the structural shapes have allowed these structures to be made lighter without risk of excessive vibration. Similarly, adding insulation materials closer to the engine also reduces the amount needed overall as well as facilitating the use of other types of engines that might be inherently noisier.
All of these factors play into making more efficient vehicles that are appealing to customers. After all, if consumers don't want to buy a vehicle for reasons that have nothing to do with function, all of the efficiency advantages they might offer will be left stuck in 'park.'
Gallery: BMW Acoustic development
[Source: BMW]Continue reading BMW experimenting with electronic noise canceling tech for diesels
BMW experimenting with electronic noise canceling tech for diesels
originally appeared on Autoblog
on Mon, 31 May 2010 09:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds
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