The Mercedes-EQ electric cars will have their own “voice”. The premium car maker is planning to turn the drive into a multi-sensory experience, with selectable soundscapes an intuitively understood feedback sounds.
Electric cars are quiet. It is in their nature. There is no V8 roaring underneath the hood, there is no diesel purring in there. Yet the Mercedes-EQ electric cars will have a “voice”. The engineers are working on developing the audible electric cars. Acoustic tests have begun.
Therefore, occupants will be able to select or switch off the soundscapes via a menu in the MBUX system. Interior speakers of the Burmester surround system will reproduce the driving sound, that Mercedes plans on making inspirational, but also interactive. It will react depending on the speed, the accelerator and recuperation. The selected driving mode will also influence the onboard sound. For example, the system will provide an emotional audio experience.
Thus the technology will use intelligent design algorithms to calculate the sounds in real time. Locking, starting, connecting to charging plug will all be accompanied by a specific sound. The driver will learn to recognize each of them.
The Mercedes-EQ electric cars will also feature the mandatory AVAS
Mercedes-Benz uses loudspeakers of the Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) in the bumper. This is how it will give the feedback outside the car as well. The system is mandatory for all new electric cars, starting 1st of July 2019. It must be active at speeds up to 20 km/h in order to warn the pedestrians of the presence or approach of the vehicle.
The algorithms and sounds are developed in-house at Mercedes-Benz by an interdisciplinary team. There are designers, media designers and mechatronics specialists working in an acoustic laboratory, shielded from external noises and vibrations, to provide the best sounds possible.
They use interactive demo vehicles and conduct tests during the usual test drives. Over 120 in-house test subjects, from administrators to top management took part in the development project. A total of 250 engineers work day in and day out to make the cars more comfortable and quiet.