Is this the end of in-car speakers?

Continental has developed the first speakerless car stereo that uses surfaces like the dashboard, seats and the roof to play music

In the future cars won’t come with any speakers, but instead will use existing surfaces like the roof, seats and dashboard to play sounds and music.

Engineers at the tech and tyre company Continental found they can use existing interior surfaces to generate sound and have now developed the world’s first speakerless car. The new technology is said to be cheaper for car makers to manufacture as well as helping save weight and improving vehicle fuel economy.

Best car infotainment systems

Continental replaced conventional loudspeakers in a standard Mercedes C-Class with sound actuators that create sound by vibrating different surfaces of the vehicle. The sound actuators consist of a magnet and coil that vibrates, but instead of the osciallting membrane that makes up a conventional speaker system, the sound is transmitted along the surfaces of the vehicle. This in-effect turns the whole car into a speaker, where multiple surfaces transmit sound. 

Different parts of the car are suited to different sound frequencies, according to Dimitrios Patsouras, director at the Continental Engineering Services. “The A-pillar is suited for high frequencies, while the door panels, for instance, have the right properties for generating medium frequencies.” Patsouras added that roof panels could work as a substitute to existing subwoofers.

Continental says the tech is 90 per cent lighter than existing speaker systems and will help manufacturers save weight, making cars more fuel-efficient. The speaker less system will also consume less electricity while giving a more natural 3D sound.

Despite having already built a prototype of the tech, Continental told Auto Express it's still “several years away” from production.

What do you think of the new speakerless car tech? Let us know in the comments...

Recommended

Killer drivers will face life sentences from 2021
Speed camera accident
Consumer news

Killer drivers will face life sentences from 2021

Government promises to introduce legislation to reform sentencing for drivers who cause death or serious injury next year
14 Sep 2020
Over half of drivers break 30mph limits
Increased speed limits helps to cut accidents
Consumer news

Over half of drivers break 30mph limits

Official figures show drivers are most likely to break 30mph limits, closely followed by 70mph motorway limits
9 Sep 2020
Driving licence validity extended for 11 months
News

Driving licence validity extended for 11 months

Move follows seven-month extension announced in June; photocard licences expiring between 1 February and 31 December 2020 get automatic 11-month exten…
1 Sep 2020
Private parking firms face Government crackdown
UK’s parking ticket lottery
Consumer news

Private parking firms face Government crackdown

New proposals will introduce a cap on fines, a 10-minute grace period, major and minor offences, plus increased maximum fines
1 Sep 2020

Most Popular

Energy firms want the right to switch off electric cars charging at home
Electric cars

Energy firms want the right to switch off electric cars charging at home

New powers being sought to allow energy providers to turn off high-drain devices to manage electricity network
18 Sep 2020
Audi A3 vs Mercedes A-Class
Car group tests

Audi A3 vs Mercedes A-Class

The Audi A3 and Mercedes A-Class are strong competitors in the premium hatchback market - we find out which is best
19 Sep 2020
New Rolls-Royce Ghost 2020 review
Rolls-Royce Ghost

New Rolls-Royce Ghost 2020 review

The all-new luxury Rolls-Royce Ghost saloon brings new levels of refinement
18 Sep 2020