Ford Mondeo Vignale borrows headphone tech for near-silent journeys
Ford has developed new technology that could make car journeys completely silent. By using the same tech found in noise-cancelling headphones, the car maker’s Active Noise Control system blocks out unwanted sounds such as engine noise and road noise.
The noise-cancelling technology is currently available on Ford’s £30,000 Mondeo Vignale. While cars with similar systems exist, they often cost upwards of £80,000.
How does it work?
Just like a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, Ford’s technology works by using three microphones to pick up unwanted noise, then playing a counteracting frequency, either on top of your existing music or on its own. The system also monitors which gear the car is in, and the rate of acceleration, so it can also anticipate the presence of unwanted engine noise.
In addition to the active tech, the car combats sound with more passive measures. The Mondeo’s glass contains a layer of noise-blocking acoustic film, thinner than a human hair, while foam soundproofing is used around the car for a reduction in noise of up to 3dB.
What’s it for?
As well as improving the comfort of journeys, Ford believes the system may improve safety. “Noise is intrusive and reduces the driver’s mental processing power and can lead to distraction and stress,” said Dr John Cartwright, Ford Britain’s chief medical officer. “By removing unwanted powertrain noise, Ford is helping customers to complete their journey calmly and in comfort.”
Despite this, the Mondeo Vignale also includes a powerful, 12-speaker stereo tuned by Sony – for the times when you want something a bit noisier.