The new fully electric Volvo EX90 marks a new era for Volvo Cars. The Swedish automaker has unveiled its first battery electric vehicle (B.E.V.) that combines a sleek design, a spacious interior, and a powerful performance with a range of up to 520 kilometers (323 miles) on a single charge. The Volvo EX90 also features an innovative sound system that enhances the driving experience and creates a sense of well-being for the passengers.
The Sound of Silence
One of the most noticeable differences between a B.E.V. and a conventional car is the absence of engine noise. While some drivers may enjoy the silence, others may miss the auditory feedback that helps them gauge the speed and acceleration of the vehicle. Moreover, some studies have shown that driving in silence can increase fatigue and reduce alertness.
To address this issue, Volvo has partnered with Harman Kardon, a leading audio brand, to create a unique sound system for the EX90. The system uses artificial intelligence (AI) to generate sounds that match the driving mode, speed, and environment of the vehicle. The sounds are played through speakers located in strategic positions inside and outside the car.
The sound system has three modes: Calm, Energetic, and Individual. The Calm mode creates a soothing ambiance with soft tones and ambient noises like birdsong or raindrops. The Energetic mode produces a dynamic and engaging sound with rhythmic beats and synthetic melodies. The Individual mode allows the driver to customize the sound according to their preferences, such as choosing their favorite music genre or playlist.
The sound system also adapts to external conditions, such as traffic, weather, and road surface. For example, when driving on a highway, the sound becomes louder and more intense to mask the wind noise and create a sense of speed. When driving in a city, the sound becomes quieter and more varied to reflect the diversity of the urban environment.
The sound system not only enhances the driving experience but also improves safety. The external speakers emit sounds that alert pedestrians and cyclists of the presence of the car, especially at low speeds when it is almost silent. The sounds are designed to be pleasant and natural rather than annoying or alarming.