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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Tokyo  >  Honda Motor Co Ltd    7267   JP3854600008

HONDA MOTOR CO LTD

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“Active Sound Effect Generating Device” in Patent Application Approval Process (USPTO 20190228759): Honda Motor Co. Ltd.

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08/14/2019 | 05:50pm EDT

2019 AUG 14 (NewsRx) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Japan Daily Report -- A patent application by the inventors WANG, Xun (WAKO-SHI, Japan); INOUE, Toshio (WAKO-SHI, Japan); MAESAKA, Takuma (WAKO-SHI, Japan), filed on January 21, 2019, was made available online on July 25, 2019, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by NewsRx correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: “Field of the Invention

“The present invention relates to an active sound effect generating device configured to generate sound effects inside a vehicle compartment in accordance with the vehicle velocity from a speaker in the interior of the vehicle, and in particular, relates to an active sound effect generating device which is installed in a vehicle equipped with an electric motor as a drive source for the vehicle.

“Description of the Related Art

“For example, as disclosed in Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 2015-229403 (hereinafter referred to as JPA2015-229403), in a vehicle equipped with an electric motor as a drive source and in which an active sound effect generating device is installed, settings are made in a manner so that acoustic signals, which are a mixture of a virtual frequency corresponding to the engine rotational speed that increases in accordance with an increase in the vehicle velocity and a harmonic frequency of the virtual frequency, are supplied to a speaker (see paragraphs , and FIGS. 1 and 2 of JPA2015-229403).

“Furthermore, an amplitude of the acoustic signals is set so as to increase as the degree of opening of the accelerator pedal and the virtual frequency increase, and the sound effects, which are generated inside the vehicle compartment, are controlled so as to become larger by the speaker in the interior of the vehicle (see paragraphs , and FIG. 2 of JPA2015-229403).”

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, NewsRx journalists also obtained the inventors’ summary information for this patent application: “In the conventional active sound effect generating device described above, since the sound effects inside the vehicle compartment are controlled so as to increase in accordance with an increase in the degree of opening of the accelerator pedal and the virtual frequency, it is possible for a vehicle occupant such as the driver or the like to hear the sound effects corresponding to operations of the accelerator pedal by the driver and fluctuations in the vehicle velocity accompanying such operations, and a sense of comfort during driving operations can be obtained. In this manner, the conventional active sound effect generating device has high merchantability.

“Incidentally, with such a conventional active sound effect generating device, as the vehicle increases in velocity, within the sound effects, which are generated on the basis of a frequency corresponding to the vehicle velocity, high frequency components the directivity of which is narrow (high) become dominant in comparison with low frequency components having wide directivity. As a result, it is easy for the vehicle occupant such as the driver or the like to notice that the sound effects are being reproduced by the speaker.

“However, in high velocity regions, if the vehicle occupant such as the driver or the like notices that the sound effects, which are generated in accordance with an increase in the vehicle velocity, are being reproduced from the speaker, the realism of the sound effects as automotive running sounds is impaired, and a sense of incompatibility is imparted to the vehicle occupant such as the driver or the like. As a result, in high velocity regions, there is a concern that the merchantability of the active sound effect generating device may be deteriorated.

“The present invention has been devised taking into consideration the aforementioned problems, and has the object of providing an active sound effect generating device which exhibits a high sense of realism as automotive running sounds, even if the sound effects therefrom, which are generated in accordance with an increase in the vehicle velocity, occur within a high velocity region.

“An active sound effect generating device according to the present invention is installed in a vehicle equipped with an electric motor as a drive source for the vehicle, and comprises a vehicle velocity detecting device configured to detect a vehicle velocity, and a vehicle velocity corresponding frequency setting unit configured to set a vehicle velocity corresponding frequency of a sound effect made up from frequencies having a plurality of ordered components so as to be generated from a speaker in accordance with a detected vehicle velocity, wherein the vehicle velocity corresponding frequency setting unit is configured to set the vehicle velocity corresponding frequency between a lower limit frequency and an upper limit frequency, and exponentially increase the frequencies having the plurality of ordered components in accordance with an increase in the vehicle velocity, respectively, from the lower limit frequency to the upper limit frequency, together with setting a frequency ratio of the plurality of ordered components so as to have a constant multiple relationship, and performing a control in a manner so that the sound effect is generated repeatedly between the lower limit frequency and the upper limit frequency in accordance with an increase in the vehicle velocity.

“According to the present invention, by utilizing the concept of an infinite scale, and repeatedly generating sound effects in which the frequency ratio of the plurality of frequencies of the respective ordered components always becomes constant between the lower limit frequency and the upper limit frequency, even if only sounds in a comparatively low frequency region are used, it is possible to generate acceleration sound effects that do not produce a feeling of discomfort in accordance with the vehicle velocity and the vehicle acceleration.

“As a result, it is possible to maintain a high level of realism (a natural feeling) as automotive running sounds, even if the sound effects, which are generated in accordance with an increase in the vehicle velocity, occur within a high velocity region.

“In this case, assuming that:

“the constant multiple is indicated by a (a>1);

“the vehicle velocity corresponding frequency is indicated by fn, fn.times.a, fn.times.a 2, . . . , with the symbol indicating exponentiation;

“the lower limit frequency is indicated by Fmin;

“the upper limit frequency is indicated by Fmax;

“the vehicle velocity is indicated by v;

“a frequency rate of change adjustment coefficient is indicated by k; and

“the vehicle velocity v when the sound effect has reached the upper limit frequency Fmax is indicated by V;

“then the vehicle velocity corresponding frequency fn may be determined by the expression:

“fn=Fmin.times.a {(v-V)/k},

“wherein if fn.gtoreq.Fmax, then V.fwdarw.V+1.

“According to this aspect of the present invention, by utilizing the concept of an infinite scale, and repeatedly generating sound effects in which the frequency ratio of the plurality of frequencies of the respective ordered components always becomes the constant multiple a between the lower limit frequency Fmin and the upper limit frequency Fmax, even if only sound effects in a comparatively low frequency region are used, it is possible to generate acceleration sound effects that do not produce a feeling of discomfort in accordance with the vehicle velocity v and the vehicle acceleration.

“As a result, it is possible to maintain a high level of realism (a natural feeling) as automotive running sounds, even if the sound effects, which are generated in accordance with an increase in the vehicle velocity v, occur within a high velocity region.

“In this case, assuming that:

“the constant multiple is indicated by a (a>1);

“the vehicle velocity corresponding frequency is indicated by fn, fn.times.a, fn.times.a 2, . . . , with the symbol indicating exponentiation;

“the lower limit frequency is indicated by Fmin;

“the upper limit frequency is indicated by Fmax;

“the vehicle velocity is indicated by v;

“a frequency rate of change adjustment coefficient is indicated by k;

“the vehicle velocity v when the sound effect has reached the upper limit frequency Fmax is indicated by V;

“a vehicle velocity increment is indicated by .DELTA.v;

“a sound effect increment is indicated by .DELTA.fn; and

“a vehicle velocity corresponding frequency, which is lower than the vehicle velocity v by the vehicle velocity increment .DELTA.v, is indicated by fn-1;

“then the vehicle velocity corresponding frequency fn may be determined by the expression:

“fn = ( fn - 1 ) + .DELTA. fn = ( fn - 1 ) + { ( log a ) / k } .times. Fmin .times. a { ( v - V ) / k } .times. .DELTA. v , ##EQU00001##

“wherein if fn.gtoreq.Fmax, then V.fwdarw.V+1 (0, v1, v2, or v3, . . . ), and fn.fwdarw.4 Fmin.

“According to this aspect of the present invention, even if parameters such as the frequency rate of change adjustment coefficient k and the upper limit frequency Fmax are switched depending on the vehicle velocity v, the frequency of the sound effects can be continuously changed in accordance with the increase in the vehicle velocity.

“Moreover, the frequency rate of change adjustment coefficient k may be controlled based on the vehicle velocity v.

“According to this aspect of the present invention, since the frequency rate of change adjustment coefficient k is controlled on the basis of the vehicle velocity v, it is possible to control (tune) the amount of change in the vehicle velocity corresponding frequency with respect to the change in the vehicle velocity, and to generate sound effects while confirming the sense of realism thereof as automotive running sounds.

“In the respective aspects of the present invention described above, there may further be provided a gain device configured to multiply a sound effect signal input to the speaker by a gain multiplier, wherein the gain device is configured to set the gain multiplier in a manner so that the sound effect becomes smaller at a time of switching the vehicle velocity corresponding frequency from the upper limit frequency to the lower limit frequency during an increase in the vehicle velocity.

“According to this aspect of the present invention, when the upper limit frequency is switched to the lower limit frequency in accordance with an increase in the vehicle velocity, the sound effects can be switched smoothly, naturally, and without a sense of discomfort.

“According to the present invention, by utilizing the concept of an infinite scale, and repeatedly generating sound effects in which the frequency ratio of the plurality of frequencies of the respective ordered components always becomes constant between the lower limit frequency and the upper limit frequency, even if only sound effects in a comparatively low frequency region are used, it is possible to generate acceleration sound effects that do not produce a feeling of discomfort in accordance with the vehicle velocity and the vehicle acceleration.

“As a result, it is possible to maintain a high level of realism (a natural feeling) as automotive running sounds, even if the sound effects, which are generated in accordance with an increase in the vehicle velocity, occur within a high velocity region.

“The above and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which preferred embodiments of the present invention are shown by way of illustrative example.”

The claims supplied by the inventors are:

“1. An active sound effect generating device installed in a vehicle equipped with an electric motor as a drive source for the vehicle, comprising: a vehicle velocity detecting device configured to detect a vehicle velocity; and a vehicle velocity corresponding frequency setting unit configured to set a vehicle velocity corresponding frequency of a sound effect made up from frequencies having a plurality of ordered components so as to be generated from a speaker in accordance with a detected vehicle velocity; wherein the vehicle velocity corresponding frequency setting unit is configured to set the vehicle velocity corresponding frequency between a lower limit frequency and an upper limit frequency, and exponentially increase the frequencies having the plurality of ordered components in accordance with an increase in the vehicle velocity, respectively, from the lower limit frequency to the upper limit frequency, together with setting a frequency ratio of the plurality of ordered components so as to have a constant multiple relationship, and performing a control in a manner so that the sound effect is generated repeatedly between the lower limit frequency and the upper limit frequency in accordance with an increase in the vehicle velocity.

“2. The active sound effect generating device according to claim 1, wherein assuming: the constant multiple is indicated by a (a>1); the vehicle velocity corresponding frequency is indicated by fn, fn.times.a, fn.times.a 2, . . . , with the symbol indicating exponentiation; the lower limit frequency is indicated by Fmin; the upper limit frequency is indicated by Fmax; the vehicle velocity is indicated by v; a frequency rate of change adjustment coefficient is indicated by k; and the vehicle velocity v when the sound effect has reached the upper limit frequency Fmax is indicated by V; then the vehicle velocity corresponding frequency fn is determined by the expression: fn=Fmin.times.a {(v-V)/k}, wherein if fn.gtoreq.Fmax, then V.fwdarw.V+1.

“3. The sound effect generating device according to claim 1, wherein assuming: the constant multiple is indicated by a (a>1); the vehicle velocity corresponding frequency is indicated by fn, fn.times.a, fn.times.a 2, . . . , with the symbol indicating exponentiation; the lower limit frequency is indicated by Fmin; the upper limit frequency is indicated by Fmax; the vehicle velocity is indicated by v; a frequency rate of change adjustment coefficient is indicated by k; the vehicle velocity v when the sound effect has reached the upper limit frequency Fmax is indicated by V; a vehicle velocity increment is indicated by .DELTA.v; a sound effect increment is indicated by .DELTA.fn; and a vehicle velocity corresponding frequency, which is lower than the vehicle velocity v by the vehicle velocity increment .DELTA.v, is indicated by fn-1; then the vehicle velocity corresponding frequency fn is determined by the expression: fn=(fn-1)+.DELTA.fn=(fn-1)+{(log a)/k}.times.Fmin.times.a {(v-V)/k}.times.DELTA.v, wherein if fn.gtoreq.Fmax, then V.fwdarw.V+1 (0, v1, v2, or v3, . . . ), and fn-4 Fmin.

“4. An active sound effect generating device according to claim 3, wherein the frequency rate of change adjustment coefficient k is controlled based on the vehicle velocity v.

“5. The active sound effect generating device according to claim 1, further comprising: a gain device configured to multiply a sound effect signal input to the speaker by a gain multiplier; wherein the gain device is configured to set the gain multiplier in a manner so that the sound effect becomes smaller at a time of switching the vehicle velocity corresponding frequency from the upper limit frequency to the lower limit frequency during an increase in the vehicle velocity.

“6. The active sound effect generating device according to claim 1, wherein, in the vehicle velocity detecting device configured to detect the vehicle velocity, the vehicle velocity is detected on a basis of a rotational speed of a motor as a drive source of the vehicle wheels.

“7. The active sound effect generating device according to claim 1, wherein the upper limit frequency is increased in accordance with an increase in the vehicle velocity.

“8. The active sound effect generating device according to claim 1, wherein, in accordance with an increase in the vehicle velocity, the vehicle velocity corresponding frequency is subjected to processing in a manner so that an amount of change in the frequency with respect to an increase in the vehicle velocity on a high vehicle velocity side becomes greater in comparison with an increase in the vehicle velocity on a low vehicle velocity side.”

URL and more information on this patent application, see: WANG, Xun; INOUE, Toshio; MAESAKA, Takuma. Active Sound Effect Generating Device. Filed January 21, 2019 and posted July 25, 2019. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220190228759%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20190228759&RS=DN/20190228759

(Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world.)

Copyright © 2019 NewsRx LLC, Japan Daily Report, source Geographic Newsletters

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