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Old 11th May 2016, 14:46   #1
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Question Ford believes fake engine noise will save fuel!

Ford Believes Fake Engine Noises Will Save Fuel

Ford believes fake engine noise will save fuel!-bbssly7.jpg

Ford has filed a patent to use fake engine noises in hopes of saving fuel.

The automaker believes that increasing the noise level of certain engines will encourage drivers to change their habits behind the wheel. They would be less inclined to hammer the gas pedal, thus improving fuel economy.

With the 1.0L EcoBoost engine, for instance, Ford has found that many drivers “shift by ear” instead of watching the tachometer. Since this smaller mill produces less noise, ideal shift points are being missed, and owners are not taking advantage of its big fuel economy potential.

The patent-pending system will therefore make the engine sound larger with artificial noises in hopes that drivers shift sooner. As you’ve likely guessed, Ford believes it will be most beneficial on its 2- and 3-cylinder turbocharged engines with manual transmissions.

Source:
http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2...save-fuel.html
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Old 11th May 2016, 14:56   #2
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Default re: Ford believes fake engine noise will save fuel!

Outrageous. Why should you increase engine noise just to ensure that the driver is inconvenienced and hence doesn't press the pedal to the metal and thereby saving fuel. It is stupid of Ford to do such a thing. All you need to do is provide a gear changing indicator to ensure that the driver sees the indicator and changes gear. It is left to the driver to decide whether he/she wants the pleasure of driving with high RPM or save fuel by running on low RPM.
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Old 11th May 2016, 15:06   #3
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Default re: Ford believes fake engine noise will save fuel!

Well I think what Ford has discovered the truth.
Most of my friends "claim" that engine "sounds" strained whenever they rev their vehicles >3000 rpm. Thus they never go above, because of an inherent fear that something may fail inside the engine.

On a similar note, most guys prefer to change the gear with sound, and prefer to lug around with "smooth" sounding engine, rather than hearing slight revs.
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Old 11th May 2016, 17:26   #4
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Default re: Ford believes fake engine noise will save fuel!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselFan View Post
.... Why should you increase engine noise just to ensure that the driver is inconvenienced and hence doesn't press the pedal to the metal and thereby saving fuel.....
They won't increase engine noise itself, but may produce noise by other means like speakers or whatever method ... maybe via clever exhaust outlets
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Old 11th May 2016, 17:42   #5
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Default re: Ford believes fake engine noise will save fuel!

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Originally Posted by DieselFan View Post
All you need to do is provide a gear changing indicator to ensure that the driver sees the indicator and changes gear. It is left to the driver to decide whether he/she wants the pleasure of driving with high RPM or save fuel by running on low RPM.
How many people upshift when the indicator says so?
Yes it is left to the driver to push the engine to its highest RPMs, but in the end, they are going to badmouth about the car's poor FE after the low geared driving.
Instead Ford is now taking the next step in their analysis - trying to simulate the engine noise providing what the driving wants - the sweet sounding engine - and a little better FE (based on their findings).
Not that I want to listen to the fake hum from the parts unrelated to the engine, but this is just a study, which can be used in any way.
If Ford offers this as a feature, they would also provide ways to turn this feature off - if that is what the user wants. In the end, apart from FE, Ford will also be concerned about NVH levels of their cars.
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Old 12th May 2016, 11:17   #6
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Default re: Ford believes fake engine noise will save fuel!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbatrody View Post
Ford has found that many drivers “shift by ear” instead of watching the tachometer.
Absolutely true. I can't remember the last time I looked at the tacho for a shift when daily driving, or even when driving fast.

The only exception would be when trying to get the best 0-100 times, or when seeing in-gear top speeds during our Team-BHP test drives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselFan View Post
It is stupid of Ford to do such a thing. All you need to do is provide a gear changing indicator to ensure that the driver sees the indicator and changes gear.
While what you've mentioned sounds like a viable solution, a lot of times things like this don't work as well, since they add some cognitive load to the user.

Maybe if people were used to shifting based on an indicator right from the first time they drove, it would be more natural to do it that way. However, everyone has been trained to notice the engine note - either consciously or subconsciously.


-----

On another note, many manufacturers have been using fake/simulated engine noise in recent years. The sound is piped in via the audio system in most cases. You'd never be able to guess if you heard it. Related thread (Engine notes, the reality, the future: Sound Enhancement)

Last edited by Rehaan : 12th May 2016 at 11:23.
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Old 12th May 2016, 11:46   #7
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Default re: Ford believes fake engine noise will save fuel!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
I can't remember the last time I looked at the tacho for a shift when daily driving, or even when driving fast.
I also rarely look at the tacho since I don't like to take my eyes off the road for even a couple of seconds.

Quote:
Maybe if people were used to shifting based on an indicator right from the first time they drove.
I just think of the engine note itself as an indicator. Audio indicator is better than visual indicator while driving since listening does not require taking your eyes off the road. So I don't mind this idea by Ford at all.


Slightly off topic, but i had heard of Japan using similar technique for saving water in public toilets. They had noticed that people used to flush excessively because they didn't want others to hear the "noises" they made, which were considered embarrassing. So they installed an additional button which would only make the flushing sound without wasting water.

Last edited by JonSnow : 12th May 2016 at 11:52.
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Old 12th May 2016, 11:49   #8
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Default re: Ford believes fake engine noise will save fuel!

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Originally Posted by Ravindra M View Post
They won't increase engine noise itself, but may produce noise by other means like speakers or whatever method ... maybe via clever exhaust outlets
Today, there are a few cars on the market where the exhaust noise inside is "enhanced" thorugh the speaker system! Jaguar, I seem to recall does this on the F-type if I'm not mistaken.

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Old 12th May 2016, 11:57   #9
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Default re: Ford believes fake engine noise will save fuel!

Ford maybe on to something here. I switch gears completely based on the note of the engine. Its another thing that Maruti decided that base variants of Swifts did not deserve a tacho even . So it might make some of the drivers to get a bit more mileage.
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Old 12th May 2016, 12:07   #10
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Default Re: Ford believes fake engine noise will save fuel!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravindra M View Post
may produce noise by other means like speakers or whatever method ... maybe via clever exhaust outlets
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbatrody View Post
The patent-pending system will therefore make the engine sound larger with artificial noises in hopes that drivers shift sooner.
Why should Ford bother with clever techniques? Just remove the engine insulation sheets & give it a slightly louder muffler . Voila - there's your noisy engine.

Considering how MTs are a dying breed worldwide, this solution (if effective at all) will have minimal impact. And then, you'll have customers complaining of how their Ford is noisy, while the neighbour's Hyundai is whisper-silent.

I don't think we'll be seeing this on production cars.
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Old 12th May 2016, 12:13   #11
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Default Re: Ford believes fake engine noise will save fuel!

This isn't anything new. These features are already provided by manufacturers such as BMW, Jaguar and more, on some of their models. This was done to produce aural pleasure of the exhaust note of bigger (V8) engines, in their smaller engined (inline-4, V6) cars. And yes, as discussed this was done through the car's audio system. Ford is trying the same thing but with a different objective in its mind. Like others here, even I shift most of the time based on the engine note and the eagerness/progress made. I look at the tacho only when I driving aggressively and need to ensure not to over-rev the engine.
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Old 12th May 2016, 12:39   #12
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Old 12th May 2016, 13:04   #13
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True. I was trained to listen to engine noise to shift gears when I took the driving class in Maruthi 800. As most of you mentioned I was shifting gears with the engine sound and slowly moving away to shifting by indictor on MID. But still engine note is also a factor. If someone is keen on fuel efficiency he will figure out in no time what best works for him and his vehicle in no time.
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Old 12th May 2016, 14:18   #14
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Default Re: Ford believes fake engine noise will save fuel!

Though the fact is people tend to shift by engine noise, this isn't a fair solution to achieve fuel efficiency for the below reasons
- If it is additional 'artificial noise' being produced, people will find a way to bypass it. So the amount of time, money and energy put on the development of such a solution is useless
- People will start complaining for the excessive engine noise, it may go to an extent of losing customers
- Impact on IQS score

PS: Eco & Sports mode selection with visible / audible shift indicator could be another solution.
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Old 13th May 2016, 00:26   #15
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Default Re: Ford believes fake engine noise will save fuel!

There is indeed truth to this matter. People are emotional beings, they respond to sensory changes emotionally - most of the gear shifting is done when the car sounds a certain way and when the car gives a kind of resistance to what would be otherwise seamless motion. The RPM gauge is nice and all but on a day-to-day driving basis I have almost forgotten it exists, heck I haven't even glanced at the console for weeks now.

I feel that instead of making the noises a permanent feature of the engine, it would be better to route it through the speakers and make it a part of the "Exciting Eco" mode so to speak. When that mode is activated (and it should very well be, always), the thrum and whine of the engine must be most audible through the speaker system and should give the "enthusiasts" that little audatory excitement. If they are indeed talking of artificial stimulation of driving feel they can also embed haptic sensors at multiple points in the steering wheel to give an "artificial" feedback (like a PS3 controller) just when the RPM touches a frugal number which would prompt people to change gears early.

Ultimately for a purist like me, I'd take the NA engines, the hydraulics driven steering and natural engine response all day long but that era is long gone and now its a mish-mash of doing things naturally-artificial or artificially-natural. Its about manipulating the driver senses in order to evoke responses of proper driving we're talking of and if that's the case then the imagination is the limit (with HUD fast growing one might also fudge speeds to appear to be more than reality). Useless yet so very useful developments.

Last edited by dark.knight : 13th May 2016 at 00:29. Reason: Typo
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