Bose EV sound enhancement debuts on Hummer Pickup

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With the launch of the GMC Hummer EV Pickup, audio specialist Bose says it is introducing the first-ever application of its Electric Vehicle Sound Enhancement (EVSE) technology, which is standard on the Hummer, along with a 14-speaker Bose surround sound system. According to Bose, the EVSE technology helps GMC deliver a dynamic audio response to the vehicle, which sends custom-designed propulsion sounds into the cabin to refine and enhance the acoustic environment.

“The GMC Hummer EV offers sensory excitement along with incredible on- and off-road performance,” said Al Oppenheiser, GM’s chief engineer on the project. “The sense of sound is an important element, and we looked to our longtime partners at Bose for expertise in helping us balance the appropriate level of acoustic precision with driver input, yet not compromising the enjoyment of a near-silent EV experience.”

During the vehicle development process, Bose says its engineers worked closely with GMC to integrate EVSE. Using a proprietary Bose algorithm and data gathered from the vehicle, EVSE helps mask undesirable noise produced by the electric propulsion system, while generating distinct sounds for different drive modes.

In Normal driving mode, the sound is subtle, providing a layer of audio texture to the vehicle’s on-road performance. Shifting into Terrain mode introduces a heavier bass tone to help keep the driver connected to the vehicle’s performance. As the Hummer’s torque increases, the sound gradually goes up, keeping the driver in tune with the vehicle’s power and movement over various types of unpaved terrain. Finally, in Off-Road mode, a deeper rumble is heard as the vehicle moves across rough surfaces such as dirt, gravel and sand.

According to Bose, the impact of EVSE technology is most pronounced in the GMC Hummer EV’s driver-selectable launch-control mode, called Watts to Freedom, which enables the truck to accelerate from 0-96km/h in a GM-estimated three seconds.

As the vehicle gears up for launch from a dead stop, the EVSE technology is engaged to help prepare the occupants with audio cues. These include a mix of electric guitar riffs and feedback, which gradually builds anticipation. Concurrently, the subwoofer creates vibrations and the vehicle uses its adaptive air suspension to lower its height and center of gravity. The sound then shifts, signaling when the vehicle is ready for takeoff before the driver can finally unleash the EV’s 1,000hp and 11,500 lb-ft of torque down the road.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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