The cabin of a vehicle can get pretty loud with the combination of powertrain sounds, road noise from tires and wind noise rushing around the body. Automakers usually combat that with sound-deadening materials, but those add weight and cost.
Hyundai Motor Group has created what it calls "Road Noise Active Noise Control," which uses a vehicle's built-in sound system along with a velocity sensor, microphone and controller to counteract the noise.
The system will first be deployed in the Genesis GV80 crossover that arrives in the U.S. this summer.
Unlike other active noise-canceling technologies, Hyundai's approach functions across a wide range of sounds and can adjust before the noise reaches the human ear.
"The new system can analyze various types of noise in real time and produce inverted sound waves," according to Hyundai.
It recognizes different types of road noises, such as resonant sounds created between tires and wheels, or rumbling sounds from the road.
Generating sound waves through the car's speakers — similar in principle to noise-canceling headphones — essentially reduces road noise by about half, according to Hyundai.
Previous active systems have focused on reducing engine noise. Hyundai's new system can also be used on electric and fuel cell vehicles where powertrains are naturally quiet, but where other noise sources become more prominent.