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Ford’s new noise-cancelling tech aims to give you a silent ride

Auto giant Ford has announced a new Active Noise Control feature, which it claims will make the interior of its cars perform like a pair of giant noise-cancelling headphones.

The system emits sound waves that will cancel out noise from the engine, transmission, passing cars and winds, just like a pair of the commuter-friendly personal audio accessories.

The system uses three microphones in the cabin to detect “undesirable noise” and counters it by sending opposing sound waves through the car’s audio system.

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The company says driver and vehicle behaviour is recorded and anticipated, so the harsher sounds caused by accelerating in a lower gear will be offset by the audio system.

“Whether listening to a favourite playlist, tuning into a much-loved station, or simply enjoying a respite from the demands of modern life, the experience of sound – and, just as importantly, silence – can be a fundamental part of an enjoyable car journey,” said Dr Ralf Heinrichs, Ford Europe’s noise vibration harshness supervisor.

Active Noise Control, which also benefits from sound-absorbing, thinner than human hair, acoustic glass around the vehicle, will debut on the new Ford Mondeo Vignale in 2016.

“Noise is intrusive and reduces the driver’s mental processing power, and can lead to distraction and stress,” said Dr John Cartwright, chief medical officer, Ford of Britain. “By removing unwanted powertrain noise, Ford is helping customers to complete their journey calmly and in comfort.”

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