Innovative tech company Continental is reinventing the car audio system by replacing conventional loudspeakers with actuators that create sound by resonating the surfaces within a vehicle. The actuators will help reduce vehicle weight, lower electrical consumption while still delivering excellent acoustics.\r\n\r\n\u201cIn the age of electric vehicles, car manufacturers are looking for innovative solutions to drastically reduce the weight of their vehicles and gain space for passengers and new technologies,\u201d said Johann Hiebl, head of the Continental business unit Infotainment and Connectivity. \u201cOur approach is to treat the car itself as an instrument. We use compact actuators to excite suitable surfaces to thus generate a natural, 3D sound experience.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOur approach is to treat the car itself as an instrument. We use compact actuators to excite suitable surfaces to thus generate a natural, 3D sound experience.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe actuators consist of a magnet and coil which generate sound through micro vibrations. Specific areas in a vehicle naturally lend themselves to each of the required three main frequency ranges. To greatly simplify the technology, it\u2019s similar to how violin strings resonate sound, only replacing the strings with a car\u2019s cabin.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cThe A pillar is suited for high frequencies, while the door panels, for instance, have the right properties for generating medium frequencies. Similar to speaker technology, we use large components such as the roof lining or rear shelf to generate low frequencies,\u201d said Dimitrios Patsouras, director competence centre NVH at Continental Engineering Services.\r\n\r\nIn a demonstration vehicle, Continental presented the scalability of the sound system by switching between an entry low-cost system using three audio channels, a mid system using four to six channels and a premium solution using up to 12 channels. Thereby, even the front seats are used as sound bodies to intensify the bass experience and to provide the rear seat passengers with a new audio experience.\r\n\r\nThe invisible car audio technology can be integrated into almost any car model from high-end sedans to small electric vehicles. The tech has potential beyond sound systems as it can also be utilised for phone calls and navigation. \u201cWe see great potential for the speakerless system as a part of functional audio concepts\u201d, Patsouras concluded.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe see great potential for the speakerless system as a part of functional audio concepts,\u201d Patsouras concluded.\r\n\r\nContinental demonstrated the technology for the public last week during the IIA International Motor Show in Frankfurt.\r\nCheck it out\r\nHave you subscribed to Man of Many? You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.