New NVH simulators enhance driver experience

Ford has developed a new state of the art simulator designed to pinpoint exactly how noise, vibration and harshness issues adversely affect its vehicles so that engineers can create the smoothest, quietest experience possible for drivers and passengers in the cars of the future.

Why does reducing NVH matter?

Most people understand the concept of noise and vibration in a car, and indeed the easiest way for people of a certain age to get the picture is to remember what it was like to travel in the vehicles of previous decades when sounds such as wind and squeaky windscreen wipers were the constant companion to the bone-rattling experience of a bumpy suspension.

Harshness can be more difficult to quantify but it refers to the negative feelings noise and vibration cause. For those who travel long distances regularly, the effects of harshness can quickly start to take their toll on mental and physical health.

How can a simulator help reduce NVH?

By using desktop, full vehicle and on-road simulators, Ford engineers are now able to test for NVH issues at every part of the design process. In the past the process for testing for NVH was far less reliable and a lot more time consuming, with engineers using techniques such as physically moving exhaust pipes from one vehicle to another as they tested for NVH.

In the latest incarnation, the desktop simulator combines a steering wheel and headphones with a state-of-the-art computer. In the full-vehicle simulator, engineers can pinpoint all aspects of the noise heard inside the car and in the on-road version, they can move sounds from one vehicle to another to see how they perform in a different model of car.

The growing importance of reducing NVH

As governments across the world continue to aim for a greener planet with reduced carbon emissions, any noise issues in cars will be enhanced in electric cars which are inherently far less noisy than their internal combustion engine counterparts, meaning any ambient noise is likely to be more noticeable.

Also, as the technology surrounding in-car entertainment systems continues to improve, consumers will be more tuned in than ever to the importance of a quiet and smooth experience as they drive.

Innovative NVH solutions for the automotive industry

Here at Interflex, we have many years’ experience delivering high quality NVH, acoustic and sealing solutions for Tier 1 automotive suppliers. To find out more about how we can meet your specific needs, please contact us on 01949 861494 or