QNX software-based Active Noise Control.

QNX software-based Active Noise Control.

Software can do a lot of things, but can it create quiet?

QNX Acoustics thinks it can. The company is marketing an all-software remedy for eliminating mechanical and road noises from car cabins.

The Active Noise Control system uses a car's existing sound or infotainment system to effectively cancel out offensives noises. This capability can be programmed into most existing hardware, QNX says.

The result is a claimed noise reduction of up to 20 decibels, without modifying the vehicle or adding any equipment.

QNX says this software-only approach could save up to $60 per vehicle, and offers car designers flexibility. Since the system can be retrofitted to existing hardware, each car won't require its own custom version.

Active Noise Control appears similar to the Active Noise Cancellation system Acura is deploying on many of its cars--even the entry-level 2014 ILX. Both systems broadcast sounds through speakers to cancel out offending noises.

Other luxury cars, including the 2013 Lincoln MKZ and 2014 Cadillac CTS, offer similar systems.

If the trend continues, getting into the driver's seat could be like climbing into a noise-cancelling headphone.

Some people will probably jump at the chance to drive around in a mobile sensory-deprivation tank, but hopefully they'll still be able to pay attention without the normal range of audio cues.

This isn't the only aspect of in-car technology QNX is working on. In addition to supplying the basis for many infotainment systems, the company is looking to move the bar higher with its second-generation CAR 2 platform.


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