Magna International calls themselves “the most diversified automotive supplier in the world”, providing manufacturers with everything from electronics to body and chassis components. Need to design or manufacture your own vehicle from the ground up? Magna can help with that, too, so when they claim to have developed “a whole new way to generate sound in a car”, I’m inclined to believe them.
Called “AcoustiVision”, the system uses specially mounted rear glass with embedded exciters to replace a conventional subwoofer. A trunk-mounted amp feeds 200 volts to the exciters, which in turn generate low frequency sound. The benefit is reduced weight, reduced power consumption and more storage space since bulky subwoofer enclosures are eliminated. The downside? A special sealant is required to ensure that the glass can vibrate freely without coming loose, so the system will likely be marketed to new car manufacturers only. Magna has been working on the technology for about four years now, so I’m pretty sure they’ve got the technical details figured out.
Magna’s product director, Greg Rizzo, claims that the system “is like sitting inside a subwoofer box”, and that you can’t hear it outside the car. I’m not sure I believe that, since the rest of the car’s sheetmetal will be resonating, but I’m all for anything that reduces noise pollution. Few things are more annoying that sitting at a light while the car next to you rattles itself to pieces thanks to a homebuilt audio system, playing at threshold of pain volumes.
I’d like to tell you that the AcoustiVision system sounds as good as a conventional subwoofer setup, but I haven’t heard it yet. Magna needs to ramp up component production before they can pitch the AcoustiVision system to manufacturers, so don’t expect to see any new cars with the technology before 2015.
Source: Detroit News