A “hearing car” is a strange concept, but a concept that is under serious consideration and is currently being developed.
Many manufactures feel that cars would benefit from hearing technology and some startups are working to develop the appropriate software.
One startup in particular, OtoSense is currently working with a wide variety of automakers to develop the technology that it would take to develop cars that can “hear” and detect issues and make the driver aware of them.
The technology would be able to detect engine changes, brake changes, and so forth. Currently, a French automaker is testing this software using thousands of different sounds.
The most recent project that OtoSense developed, known as AudioHound, was able to identify alarming noises coming from the engine, wheels, and other areas of concern. In fact, it correctly identified an issue 95% of the time, proving to be reliable.
Guillaume Castusseau, who works on vehicle noises for the French automaker mentioned above, is working on creating a “bionic ear” which could help bring drivers attention to potential car problems. Many people are concerned if they hear unexplained noises while driving, such as rattling, and a hearing car would be able to easily identify the issue to them.
CEO of OtoSense, Sebastian Christian, believes that “hearing cars” could also sense potential problems that electric seniors would likely miss. It is also rumored that this technology might also be able to assist cars in understanding their surroundings, such as oncoming sirens or weather conditions.
The startup has discussed turning windshields into microphones, but it isn’t totally clear where the cars “ears” would be placed.
Regardless, microphones would be an inexpensive addition to cars that could contribute to safer driving conditions.