Harman delivers eco-friendly audio innovations for EVs

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At CES 2020, Harman International has announced its EV Plus+ Solutions, a new audio and communications solutions bundle designed specifically for the fast-growing electric vehicle (EV) segment. The solutions are designed to overcome challenges unique to EVs and offer consumers no compromise in entertainment, communication and comfort, flexibly and sustainably.

Concerns over range anxiety in EVs mean that popular in-car features that require a power draw, including premium audio and entertainment, are especially challenging to engineer for an EV environment. Leveraging efficient acoustic technologies and cloud-based software innovation, EV Plus+ Solutions comprise three new Harman offerings that work together to solve those challenges, according to the company.

The first is Ecotect, a “revolutionary” electric vehicle system design solution that ensures powerful audio performance with half the parts, and boasts reduced weight, reduced complexity and reduced power consumption when compared with a traditional system.

Audio Marketplace is a new, cloud-based ecosystem powered by Harman Ignite. Audio Marketplace enables users to add and update in-vehicle audio, entertainment and communication features on-demand, with the touch of a button. This open-ended OTA offering enables a new level of personalization and flexibility for the in-car experience throughout the life of the vehicle.

A third component, software-enabled branded audio, is downloadable, instantly activated and leverages the Ecotect system components, offering a new way to upgrade – over the air – from a base audio to a premium branded audio experience in new vehicles. Consumers can elect to add premium, branded audio to any Ecotect equipped vehicle at purchase, or to activate it at any time later in the vehicle lifecycle.

Through Audio Marketplace, consumers can instantly personalize their in-car offerings to fit their preferences, mood and lifestyle. Experiences including NatureScapes, for which Harman partnered with the US National Park Foundation to bring serene, authentic recordings from park points of interest into the vehicle, including Yosemite Falls and Mammoth Dome.

Also available through Audio Marketplace, Voice-Sensing Volume Fade provides EV occupants with innovative technology that can differentiate in-car communication from music, seamlessly adjusting the audio volume level down when conversations are taking place, and automatically turning the music back up as soon as the conversation has finished.

For increased pedestrian safety and external entertainment audio, the eESS Safe and Sound option projects electronic sound from external speakers at the front and rear of the vehicle to inform pedestrians of an EV’s speed and location. As an added feature, these external speakers can be linked to the vehicle subwoofers to create a full-bandwidth external sound system to enjoy outdoors.

And for improved in-cabin comfort, HALOsonic RNC employs acoustic noise canceling techniques to reduce unwanted road noise inside the vehicle cabin, reducing reliance on heavy dampening materials.

Harman says its commitment to reinforcing environmental safety and sustainable lifestyle choices with the new EV Plus+ Solutions extends to the supply chain. In building its audio systems, Harman says it differentiates itself from competitors and exceeds safety standards by opting for conflict-free materials that do not release harmful compounds into the environment.

Harman’s EV Plus+ Solutions are being demonstrated at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, and are already available to OEMs for in-vehicle integration.

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