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16 April  2009

Lotus and Harman International Announce Collaboration

Lotus Engineering reaches agreement with Harman International to be granted exclusive rights for Active Noise Control technologies

Lotus Engineering, the world-renowned automotive consultancy division of Lotus Cars Ltd and Harman Becker Automotive Systems, the automotive division of Harman International, have reached an agreement to jointly develop noise management solutions using Lotus’ patented Active Noise Control technologies. Exclusive rights are granted to Harman Becker to manufacture the latest technology solutions for the worldwide vehicle OEM market. The agreement includes all of Lotus’ Active Noise Control technologies comprising Road Noise Cancellation, Engine Order Cancellation, and Electronic Sound Synthesis.

The Road Noise Cancellation and Engine Order Cancellation systems will provide vehicle manufacturers with the ability to greatly improve in-cabin refinement, with additional design opportunities for optimising vehicle weight reduction and fuel economy.

Road Noise Cancellation and Engine Order Cancellation reduce both overall noise levels and specific audible frequencies which may be unpleasant in the cabin space. Electronic systems determine the signal needed to provide cancellation which is then seamlessly generated through the in-car entertainment system. The result is a quiet, controlled environment free of intrusive noises.

External Electronic Sound Synthesis provides specified electronic sound models which can be applied to an external speaker system to improve pedestrian safety. This is especially important for electric and hybrid vehicles which can be difficult to hear at lower speeds due to their drive mechanism. A synthesised sound, dependant on speed, is projected from speakers at the front and rear of the vehicle, making it instantly recognisable that the vehicle is in motion.

Internal Electronic Sound Synthesis allows sound contouring in the cabin, enhancing the driving experience by creating engine speed and throttle dependant sounds audible through the in-car entertainment system. The system delivers audible feedback to drivers even when the engine is silent or, alternatively, it can be used to reinforce an OEM ‘sound DNA’ to the end user.

Harman International, the world-renowned high-end infotainment systems provider, will be the production system integrator and supplier, and will work with vehicle manufacturers on model specific system architecture options. Lotus Engineering, which has over twenty years of experience in Active Noise Control technologies will assist manufacturers with system performance optimisation.

“We are delighted by this agreement with Harman International, which will allow motorists to benefit from the greater levels of refinement and safety in future vehicles which these Lotus technologies enable,” said Mike Kimberley, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus plc. “The Active Noise Control technologies are part of a steady stream of ground-breaking innovations that Lotus has brought to the automotive industry and we are committed to pursuing further developments in vehicle refinement and environmentally friendly transport solutions.”
“We are privileged to team up with Lotus for this new development initiative, which will reinforce our mission to deliver exceptional audio and infotainment experiences for automotive customers,” said Dinesh C. Paliwal, Harman’s Chairman and CEO. “The rich sounds of our in-car systems will be complemented by this technology, opening new opportunities for deployment and enjoyment.”
“The utilisation of the Lotus suite of ANC technologies within our extensive product portfolio reinforces our commitment to support the increasing market demand for environmentally conscientious technologies,” said Dr. Klaus Blickle, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Harman International Automotive Division.
The result of the Lotus and Harman International technology collaboration will be to generate Active Noise Control system solutions available to vehicle manufacturers in all worldwide markets. Working systems are ready for production implementation and manufacture. The introduction of affordable noise management systems offers multiple benefits to manufacturers and consumers alike, achieving eco-friendly optimization of vehicle weight reductions and improved CO2 emissions.