Lotus News Article

HALOsonic: Sound Technology with Vision

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 18:00
Lotus and HARMAN create next generation intelligent pedestrian warning system, integrating the advanced HALOsonic sound synthesis system with video technology.

This cutting-edge enhanced version of the HALOsonic safety system incorporates input from imaging sensors to enhance the quality of the sound synthesis system. HALOsonic has been developed specifically for electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles, and will have its first public demonstration on the Lotus Engineering cutaway hybrid Evora 414Evolution exhibit at the 81st International Motor Show in Geneva.

The system on this latest version of HALOsonic, a collaboration between HARMAN and Lotus uses a single camera to determine the distance, trajectory and speed of pedestrians and other road users, calculating the risk of collision by comparing this information with the car’s path. The new HALOsonic system uses this data to actively control the volume of the External Sound Synthesis to warn pedestrians of the vehicle’s location, thereby improving pedestrian safety and reducing noise pollution. Under certain conditions the system will generate an audible and visual warning for the driver using the Internal Sound Synthesis and instrument panel.

The new active system is optimised to operate in urban environments where there is the greatest risk of a collision with a pedestrian. It is calibrated to actively control the volume and pitch of the sound synthesised while the vehicle is travelling from 0 - 75 km/h, continually evaluating the risk of a pedestrian collision and operating in an area up to 60 metres ahead of the vehicle. All of the HALOsonic systems are designed to use low levels of power and with the new active version there will be less power consumed as the system will only increase the volume when there is a risk of an impact.

This innovative new active safety system is integrated into the HALOsonic range of products, which includes: External Sound Synthesis, Internal Sound Synthesis, Road Noise Cancellation and Engine Order Cancellation. The HALOsonic range has been designed by Lotus Engineering and HARMAN Automotive and offers a production ready technology as a stand-alone or integrated ICE system solution.

Governments around the world have acknowledged the increased risk posed by almost silent vehicles and are in the process of drawing up legislation to compel car manufacturers to equip vehicles with pedestrian warning systems like the HALOsonic system.

Colin Peachey, Chief Engineer, Control and Electrical, Lotus Engineering said, “The integration of video technology into the HALOsonic system illustrates the flexibility of the technology to evolve new features and functionality; offering a system that is more intelligent and produces less unwanted noise while using less power! This is just one of the several enhanced functions we are currently developing for HALOsonic that is now the global benchmark pedestrian safety system of this type, and which is receiving a lot of attention from large vehicle manufactures keen to meet the upcoming legislation in the US and Japan. The HALOsonic system offers the ability to tune the sound synthesis to a manufacturer’s requirements, giving the capability to synthesise anything from a conventional engine sound to a very futuristic Sci- Fi designer sound.”

“The latest active HALOsonic system is the most advanced system on the market and meets all the proposed legislation, providing the benchmark for this type of system” said HARMAN’s Rick Kreifeldt, Vice President of Global Automotive Research.

Lotus Engineering cutaway hybrid Evora 414Evolution exhibit

The cutaway hybrid Evora 414Evolution exhibit will be displayed at the 81st International Motor Show in Geneva and demonstrates Lotus Engineering’s technical expertise in: Lightweight Architectures, Efficient Performance, Driving Dynamics and Electrical and Electronic Integration. The new intelligent HALOsonic system is displayed in the cutaway hybrid Evora 414Evolution exhibit along with the supercharged production Lotus Range Extender.

Dr Robert Hentschel, Director of Lotus Engineering, said “Lotus Engineering is one of the world’s most dynamic automotive engineering consultancies. We are rapidly expanding into new regions and investing heavily in facilities, personnel and our world leading technologies. One example of this investment in technology is the cutaway hybrid Evora 414Evolution exhibit, which showcases the advanced series hybrid drivetrain, with the production Lotus Range Extender and intelligent HALOsonic technology. It is anticipated that these technologies will, in conjunction with our technical partners, be in production vehicles in the near future”.