Delphi's New Vehicle Sound Generator Helps Increase Safety of Pedestrians and Cyclists

31st October 2011
ES Admin
With the number of hybrid and electric vehicles on road increasing rapidly, vehicle makers are looking for ways to make pedestrians and cyclists aware of these and other near-silent vehicles as they approach. Delphi Automotive's answer is a vehicle sounder designed to comply with legislation expected to mandate minimal sound for both hybrid and electric vehicles globally. The Delphi sounder will be introduced by a leading European OEM in mid-2012.
Delphi's innovative sounders are not only designed to comply with emerging legislation, they are environmentally friendly, robust, compact, lightweight and high value.

Industry analysts predict hybrid and electric vehicle warning sounds, already covered by guidelines in Japan, will be required globally in the near future, said Beth Schwarting, general director, Electronic Controls at Delphi Electronics & Safety. We are committed to helping our customers address market-driven challenges by providing environmentally friendly and affordable products like the sounder.

Already the choice of three global vehicle manufacturers, the environmentally friendly, single-box sounder is lead-free, compact, lightweight and cost competitive. Robust enough for underhood mounting, the sounder has a frequency range of 300Hz to 10 KHz and can reproduce melodies that represent vehicle identities. Though very light, weight of the conventional cone speaker system can be reduced by 66 percent when a special magnet is used to activate the system.

To create each distinctive sound, the Delphi sounder uses unique algorithms, pitch shifting and amplitude scaling in relation to speed, throttle, acceleration and operating mode inputs, to separately mix OEM-supplied tracks that represent vehicle image. Denoting identities including elegance, innovation and environmentally friendliness, tracks stored in memory are blended to create melodies that represent a specific vehicle.

Delphi's innovative sounder features a 32-bit microprocessor with flash memory, an audio class-D amplifier and links to a vehicle data bus. With this data connection, the 10 x 10 centimeter unit allows vehicle manufacturers to enable multiple warning features using one sounder. Unique sounds can be designed to remind drivers that the vehicle battery should be charged, to confirm that a charging sequence is in progress or to notify the driver when a charging sequence is complete. Additionally, the flexibility of Delphi's sounder makes the integration of more safety features possible. For instance, the sounder could emit a warning sound when a pedestrian is detected by a collision warning system.

Delphi's vehicle sound generator was recently recognized as a finalist at the International Awards for Automotive Innovation organized by Equip Auto show in Paris, France.

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