What influences us to choose one car over
Most people would think of styling, colour, speed or economy.
But car manufacturers have encountered a new problem. Inside, a car
can be too quiet, and car buyers don’t like it.
At the University of Warwick’s International Manufacturing
Centre, the Warwick Manufacturing Group, led by Paul Jennings, has
been studying how customers react to the sounds different cars
Working with Sound and Vibration Technology Ltd, they have
developed a “Noise and Vibration Simulator” based on a
car, which uses a virtual reality programme to recreate the sound
and feel of the driving experience. It feels like driving a proper
car, and users register their reaction to car sound and vibration
on a computer.
Engineers from the different car manufacturers working with the
University of Warwick team can use the simulator themselves to
experience the difference design changes might make, what happens
when you alter an engine mount, or a suspension system.
Through the simulator they are learning what the car buyer
wants, in what way a saloon should sound different from a sports
car. This research is teaching the car manufacturers that from the
car buyers' perspective, silence really isn’t golden.