After eyes, cars get ears for the environment: Page 2 of 2

February 03, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
After eyes, cars get ears for the environment
Modern cars assess their environment with "sense organs" such as radar, lidar or cameras. In the future, they may also have a sense of hearing. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Oldenburg (Germany) have developed prototypes for detecting external sounds such as sirens.

The acoustic sensor technology developed by IDMT researchers consists of encapsulated microphones, control unit and software. Mounted on the outside of the vehicle, the microphones pick up the airborne sound. The sensors transmit the audio data to an ECU, where they are processed into relevant metadata.

The research team's computer-based event detection methods can also be used in adapted variants in other sectors and markets, for example for quality assurance in industrial production. Here, intelligent acoustic sensors process battery-operated audio signals from machines and systems. From the information, which is transmitted wirelessly to an evaluation unit, conclusions can be drawn about the condition of the production facilities and possible damage can be avoided. Automatic speech recognizers enable contactless documentation systems for professional applications, for example in turbine maintenance.

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