For one night only, Australian band The Accelerators played at the state-of-the-art Vehicle Semi-Anechoic Chamber at Ford’s Asia Pacific Product Development Proving Ground near Melbourne, Australia. The band were invited to play an exclusive concert to test how the new Ford Everest’s impressive interior quietness helps to redefine expectations of what comfort levels can be achieved in a rugged off-road SUV.
The quiet interior is made possible by Ford’s Active Noise Cancellation technology. Similar to noise-cancelling headphones, the Everest uses microphones to monitor low-frequency sounds in real time, and generates sound waves that are played through the audio system to cancel unwanted noises out.
It all happens invisibly and seamlessly. All occupants notice is that they can comfortably hold a conversation between the front row and the power-fold third row. And the payoff is not just in comfort: In addition to making for a more pleasant journey, quiet vehicle interiors have also been shown to help reduce driver fatigue on long drives.
Active Noise Cancellation is just one feature on the Everest to help create a more comfortable cabin for occupants. Others include specially designed acoustic glass in the windshield, and hydraulic engine mounts that help reduce engine vibrations for a smoother ride. All of them mean a quieter cabin, even in heavy traffic, or if you encounter a band practicing in your neighborhood anechoic chamber.
To test the effectiveness of the Everest’s Active Noise Cancellation, Ford engineers made use of Ford’s Vehicle Semi-Anechoic Chamber at Ford’s Asia Pacific Product Development Proving Ground in Australia. The chamber resembles a giant recording studio in which vehicles can be pushed to their extremes in a safe environment. Other vehicles that have been tested at the VSAC include the Ford Figo, Taurus, Escort and the Ranger.
A large dynamometer in the center of the chamber works in a similar way to a treadmill and enables vehicles to drive at speeds of up to 250 km/h without ever actually moving. Sensitive sound-recording equipment placed inside and outside the vehicle can then measure the noise levels generated. This allows engineers to test the Everest’s noise cancellation technology at its absolute limits – the kind of conditions that the average consumer will never encounter. They may seem extreme, but these kinds of tests ensure that whether you are driving at highway speeds, in busy city traffic, or tackling technical off-road terrain, the interior of the new Everest is as quiet and comfortable as possible.