Have in-car speakers had their day?

First speakerless car stereo developed by Continental

Cars of the future won’t be fitted with speakers, instead the surfaces of the vehicle will be used to play sound and music – that’s according to Continental, automotive manufacturers who specialise in tyres, brake systems and interior electronics, amongst other things.
The German manufacturing company Continental have developed the first speakerless car stereo which uses some of the car’s surfaces such as the seats, roof and dashboard to play sound and music.
Continental’s engineers discovered that they could use some of the already existing surfaces inside a vehicle to create sound and as a result have developed the first ever speakerless car.
According to the company, this new technology will make it cheaper for car manufacturers to produce and will also help reduce the weight in a vehicle and make cars more fuel efficient.
The company took a Mercedes C-Class and replaced the loudspeakers with sound actuators, which generate sound by vibrating different surfaces inside the vehicle.
The sound generated by the actuators is transmitted throughout the surface of the vehicle, basically turning the whole of the car into a giant speaker, with different surfaces, including the dashboard and roof able to transmit sound.
Director at the Continental Engineering Services, Dimitrios Patsouras, explained how the various parts inside a vehicle are best suited to different sound frequencies.
“The A-pillar is suited for high frequencies, while the door panels, for instance, have the right properties for generating medium frequencies,” said Mr Patsouras, who also added that a car’s roof panels could even replace the current subwoofers found in vehicles.
Continental says the new technology is 90% lighter than current speaker systems, will use up less electricity and produce a more natural 3D sound.
A prototype using the new technology has been built by the company but production is still “several years away”.
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