“We are developing the car sound of the future,” says Dr. Jochen Schröder, Head of Schaeffler’s E-Mobility division. “At the DTM Electric Sound-Run you can already hear that electric motorsport also generates pure emotions.”
The DTM Electric Schaeffler demo vehicle was equipped with innovative technology for the sound demonstration. This includes sound synthesis software that combines real-time vehicle data and a sound profile specially developed for the racing series. The company’s experts have modeled the sound itself to the actual sound of an electric motor.
Hardware installed in the vehicle ensures that the entire body is made to vibrate. In this way, the new unmistakable sound can be heard by the audience. In the future, this expertise will also be used in production vehicles.
DTM Sound-Run: New sound of electric motorsport
Powerful bass, a deep rumble and still a bit futuristic: That’s what the new DTM Electric sounds like. At the premiere of the new sound at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, racing driver Sophia Flörsch will be at the wheel of the demo vehicle and present the new sound to the motorsport world. The model for this is the sound spectrum of the electric motor installed in the vehicle, which Schaeffler manufactures itself. “The DTM Electric should neither imitate a typical combustion engine nor sound like science fiction,” says Jochen Schröder. “Rather, we developed the sound very close to the physics of an electric motor, just cooler.”
Vehicle data such as engine speed, engine load and brake pressure are fed into the software in real time while driving. It now adapts the pitch and sound level of the stored profile precisely to the respective driving situation. Accelerating and braking at different speeds creates a dynamic and authentic sound. This is then passed on via an amplifier to special coils in the vehicle, which stimulate the body and make it vibrate. In this way, the sound can be heard by the fans at the racetrack – without any classic loudspeakers.
Sound design also for series electric cars
E-cars driving slowly through the city can hardly be heard today. This increases the risk of accidents, especially with cyclists and pedestrians. In the EU, the so-called “Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System”, AVAS for short, is now mandatory in all new types of hybrid and electric cars. Up to a speed of 20 km/h and when reversing, the cars must produce a noise level of at least 56 dB and a maximum of 75 dB, in the USA up to 30 km/h.
“Until now, car manufacturers have differentiated themselves by the noise of the combustion engine. In the future, we will also offer real-time sound synthesis to automobile manufacturers for e-cars on the road – for targeted brand differentiation and an authentic sound in every driving situation,” says Jochen Schröder.
While the new sound of the DTM Electric is based on the actual sound of the electric drive, the vehicle manufacturer can later largely decide how the driving sound of his car should sound. “From the acoustics of traditional combustion engines to futuristic sounds, we make a lot possible for vehicle manufacturers,” says Jochen Schröder.