EV architecture provides audio performance using less power
Harman International has announced its EV Plus+ Solutions, a new audio and communications solutions bundle designed specifically for the fast growing Electric Vehicle (EV) segment and their eco-conscious owners. The solutions overcome challenges unique to EVs and offer consumers a no-compromise level of entertainment, communication and comfort, flexibly and sustainably.
As the automotive industry enters its greatest period of change in decades, the future of mobility requires technologies that wholly address consumer needs while also prioritising thoughtful innovation.
One significant driver of this change is the shift to electric powertrains as a response to climate change concerns. By 2040, Bloomberg NEF expects over half of all global vehicle sales and over a third of vehicle fleets to be electric.
However, range anxiety continues to be a barrier for electric vehicle adoption, with vehicle charging a concern for 83% of non-EV owners, according to Cox Automotive. Such concerns have made the inclusion of popular in-car features that require a power draw, including premium audio and entertainment, especially challenging when engineering for an electric vehicle environment.
Leveraging efficient acoustic technologies and cloud-based software innovation, EV Plus+ Solutions solves those challenges with a scalable, low weight, and reduced complexity system architecture that provides double the acoustic power and performance without impacting range when compared to a traditional audio system with comparable performance.
As growth in the EV market continues to accelerate, so does consumer demand for premium, personalised in-cabin experiences from vehicles. With such a focus on efficiency, EVs often cannot offer the same level of premium in-cabin features available in traditional vehicles.
Consumers looking to extend their green lifestyle to their choice of vehicle have to choose between the experiences they want and the eco-consciousness they want to reflect. EV Plus+ Solutions is the first-ever approach that delivers branded audio and personalised experiences on demand in a fully sustainably way designed expressly for electric vehicles.
“At HARMAN, we believe the next-generation of mobility should convert the time you spend in your car into time well spent - and electric vehicles are no exception,” said Bill Wyman, VP of Global Marketing, Lifestyle Automotive. “Environmental concerns are guiding purchase decisions more and more, but the demand for premium experiences hasn’t changed. Through the groundbreaking delivery system of Ecotect that underpins EV Plus+ Solutions, we’re enabling automakers to fulfill these needs for their customers, without compromises, for the very first time.”
Integral to EV Plus+ Solutions are three new HARMAN offerings that work together, enabling an uncompromised, premium EV experience:
- Ecotect: Revolutionary electric vehicle system design solution ensures powerful audio performance with half the parts, and boasts reduced weight, reduced complexity and reduced power consumption when compared to a traditional system. Ecotect features high efficiency speakers, a proprietary Prodigy Booster amplifier and Power Manager 2.0 technology, all layered in via an architecture that leverages innovative speaker locations, sustainable materials and sophisticated signal processing to deliver premium audio and communications experiences with EV-optimised efficiency.
- Audio marketplace: New, cloud-based ecosystem powered by HARMAN Ignite, Audio Marketplace allows users to add and update in-vehicle audio, entertainment and communication features on-demand, with the touch of a button. This open-ended OTA offering enables a new level of personalisation and flexibility for the in-car experience throughout the life of the vehicle.
- Software-enabled branded audio: Downloadable, instantly activated and leveraging the Ecotect system components, software-enabled branded audio offers an entirely new way to upgrade from a base audio to a premium branded audio experience in new vehicles - over the air, at the touch of a button. With this delivery model, consumers can elect to add premium, branded audio to any Ecotect equipped vehicle at purchase, or to activate it later on at any time during the vehicle life cycle.
Through Audio Marketplace, consumers can instantly personalise their in-car offerings to fit their preferences, mood and lifestyle, with experiences including:
- NatureScapes: For serene, authentic natural sound scenery from America’s national parks, HARMAN partnered with the National Park Foundation to bring some of America’s most beloved national parks to life inside the vehicle. Using authentic recordings from actual park points of interest, NatureScapes delivers fully immersive soundscapes from locations including Yosemite Falls and Mammoth Dome. EV occupants can transform the stress of dense traffic or monotony of dull scenery with their choice of real sounds of nature for a serene and satisfying experience inside their vehicle.
- Voice-Sensing Volume Fade: For clear and seamless in-car conversations, Voice-Sensing Volume Fade provides EV occupants with innovative technology that can differentiate in-car communication from music, seamlessly adjusting the audio volume level down when conversations are taking place, and automatically turning the music back up as soon as the conversation has finished.
- eESS Safe and Sound: For increased pedestrian safety and external entertainment audio, eESS Safe and Sound projects electronic sound from external speakers at the front and rear of the vehicle to inform pedestrians of an EV’s speed and location. As an added feature, these external speakers can be linked to the vehicle subwoofers to create a full bandwidth external sound system to enjoy outdoors.
- HALOsonic Road Noise Cancellation (RNC): For improved in-cabin comfort, HALOsonic RNC, part of HARMAN’s HALOsonic noise management solution, employs acoustic noise cancelling techniques to reduce unwanted road noise inside the vehicle cabin. This minimises road noise while reducing reliance on heavy dampening materials. The result is a quieter, more comfortable ride for consumers, and the ability for OEMs to deliver that experience in the most fuel efficient, EV-optimised way possible.
HARMAN’s commitment to reinforcing environmental safety and sustainable lifestyle choices with the new EV Plus+ Solutions extends to the supply chain.
In building its audio systems, HARMAN differentiates from competitors and exceeds safety standards by opting for conflict-free materials that do not release harmful compounds into the environment. HARMAN’s EV Plus+ Solutions are available to OEMs today for in-vehicle integration. EV Plus+ Solutions will be demonstrated at the HARMAN Showcase at CES 2020.