Solution from Infineon and Cerence makes vehicles “hear” the sirens of emergency vehicles
To increase road safety, many countries are introducing regulations that require drivers to actively give priority to emergency vehicles. These regulations will almost certainly also apply to self-driving vehicles, which will then also have to detect emergency vehicles. This will usually require a combination of audible and visual warning signals. To meet the upcoming requirements, Infineon Technologies has worked with Cerence Inc. to develop a solution that enables vehicles to detect approaching emergency vehicles, especially when they are not in the field of view. This is based on Infineon’s automotive-qualified XENSIV MEMS microphones (IM67D130A) and Cerence’s Emergency Vehicle Detection (EVD) software.
The system combines a series of XENSIV MEMS microphones strategically placed on the outside of the vehicle with Cerence’s EVD software. The AEC-Q103 qualified XENSIV MEMS microphone has an extended operating temperature range of -40°C to +105°C, enabling various use cases in harsh automotive environments. With a THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) of less than 0.5 percent at an SPL (Sound Pressure Level) of 94 dB and a high AOP (Acoustic Overload Point) of 130 dB SPL, the microphone can capture audio signals without distortion even in noisy environments. This means that signals can be reliably classified even when background noise obscures the siren sound.
Cerence’s Electronic Vehicle Detection can be integrated into the vehicle assistant or into separate control units and uses the microphones to accurately and reliably detect sirens from police, ambulance or fire engines. It also determines the location of these sirens. As soon as a siren is detected, the driver – or in autonomous vehicles the control electronics – is informed so that they can react accordingly. Drivers can be notified in a number of ways, including reducing the volume of the radio or other media, displaying a visual warning on the head unit, or issuing an audible warning via the vehicle assistant.
The XENSIV MEMS microphones IM67D130A are already in series production. Infineon also offers a development kit that allows developers to quickly evaluate MEMS microphones. The kit enables component-level performance evaluation and can also be used to connect multiple microphones and test different placement configurations in the vehicle.