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New Perspectives in the Study of Noise Quality in Vehicles
Published March 29, 1995 by Associazione Tecnica Dell'Automobile in Italy
One of the features which nowadays tends to assume more and more importance, once a customer decides to buy a new car, is its "acoustic image".
We observe that it is going to be no longer sufficient to keep the noise emitted by a vehicle simply below "quantitative" thresholds. The sound coming from the various sources in the car must be "shaped" according to subjective criteria too, ensuring pleasantness and correct information contents about the working status of the source itself.
A vehicle has to be considered as an "ensemble" of interacting acoustic sources, which add up to build its final aural perception. Furthermore these sound "messages" interact in a complex way with the other sensory channels of the user, and it is very likely that their meaning may be perceived in a different manner in different situations, and according to the different role of the listener (i.e. the driver, who having an active role in the noise generation process, needs an information feedback from the produced noise, and the passenger, whose role is mainly that of a passive listener).
Thus it seems that new perspectives are needed to study noise quality in cars, stemming from the idea that all of these interactions must be taken into account simultaneously.
In other words we must aim to an optimal coherence among different noise sources and with the global image of the automotive product, which has to be tailored according to its particular market destination.
It becomes necessary to make use of "reality simulation" techniques, for reducing time and resource efforts while aiming towards the definition of optimal "acoustical targets" in designing new engineering solutions.
This paper deals with a possible methodological structure of these ideas, and some application examples will be given to clarify their inherent power.