VI-grade partners with BlackBerry for active NVH sound design


VI-grade has partnered with BlackBerry QNX to enable real-time active sound design for the entire vehicle. The aim is to integrate QNX’s Active Sound Design software (QNX ASD) with VI-grade’s NVH Simulator.

Vehicle sound design is typically carried out by designing desired vehicle sounds in a studio, separate from the natural vehicle sounds created by the engine, motors, tyres, wind and other sources. These sounds were then auditioned and tested on physical prototypes, which was a time and cost-intensive process, and often resulted in engineers having to restart and create new sounds more suitable for the actual vehicle sound environment.

By having the QNX ASD software integrated with the NVH Simulator, the partners say that this will allow designers to work interactively with a complete NVH simulation of the target vehicle and to experience the sound design in a highly realistic way. The NVH Simulator connects QNX ASD to other sound and real-time data sources in the vehicle, so that tests and modifications can be performed much earlier in the design process.

“The integration of QNX ASD with the VI-grade NVH Simulator allows automotive sound designers and NVH engineers to design and tune sounds for vehicles much faster and more efficiently than ever before, eliminating slow and costly development on prototype vehicles and moving this development to the desktop,” said Len Layton, acoustics business development manager at BlackBerry QNX. “By designing sounds with the full vehicle soundscape as context, better sounds can be designed and implemented faster.”

Dave Bogema, director of NVH solutions at VI-grade added, “The design of ASD sound profiles, whether for engine sound enhancement, electric vehicle sound enhancement or exterior sound for meeting Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS) standards, used to be performed separately from the noise and vibration aspects of the vehicle platform. The ASD sound profiles were first developed in the ‘vacuum’ of the studio, and then were only combined with the rest of the vehicle sounds on actual vehicles, which of course requires prototype vehicles and significant time horizons. With this combination of technology, sounds can be designed and tuned on a computer, in the context of all other vehicle sounds, over the entire operating envelope of the vehicle and evaluated with a free driving, driver-in-the-loop simulation, drastically reducing the need for prototype vehicle testing and tuning.”

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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