Ford tries to patent fake engine noise

Ford tries to patent fake engine noise

Fake engine sounds are getting more common in cars – often piped through speakers to give the impression that vehicles are louder than they are and sound better than they do.

Others use the actual engine and bizarre arrays of piping and bends and blanks and bulbous bits to ‘tune’ the non exhaust-amplified sounds and send them back through the cabin.

The reason? Some people think cars are too quiet in the modern world. But do the even like these glorified vuvuzelas or speakers pushing out faked noises? Interestingly some do – others hate them with a vengeance.

And Ford, which has employed such sorcery in its cars for several years now, reckons it’s come up the best electronic version yet.

So confident is the blue oval that it’s done this well, there’s an application for a patent approval for its new system that is currently with the US Patent and Trademark Office which, says Ford, also helps drivers to change gears more efficiently.

And it’s not only Ford, Peugeot, and Toyota – including Lexus – already using the systems.

Some critics consider them the automotive industry’s ‘dirty little secret.’

There are systems, like the one in Renault’s little Clio RS, which even allow users to download their own vehicle sound packs from the internet and make their cars ‘sound like’ almost anything else.

Sure, the first two days might offer a faintly fun gadget to play around with, but after that, these little tricks will likely be forgotten and never engaged again.

Ken Pilcher, from 4 Wheel Online, a motoring channel on YouTube, told The Sunday Times:

“The aural experience we get from our cars is one of driving’s most defining features.

“To fabricate that is being plain deceptive and an affront to the whole driving experience.’

One user of a Volkswagen Golf forum, spoke of how the noise generators – called soundaktors in certain models said: “’The soundaktor is akin to wearing your knickers inside out and back to front.”

Peugeot says its new 308 GTi – with its artificial audio track – is an ‘acquired taste’ but maintains it sounds like an engine.

Others get distressed when they think that we’ll one day be legislated to drive around in silent cars with nothing but noise makers to remind us that we’re driving – or at least being driven – in cars.

Or are real cars something that they want us to forget?

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