Sound-Absorbing Dome in Shuttles
A polarising product: the sound-absorbing privacy dome capsule from Covestro was developed to provide pleasant silence for passengers in noisy surroundings and autonomous shuttles.
One reason why many people in large cities still prefer the slower option of driving themselves instead of using eco-friendly alternatives like buses and trains is the lack of privacy in public transport systems. Automotive supplier Covestro plans to change this with its sound-absorbing capsule.
Hosting a virtual press conference, the plastics specialist presented a futuristic-looking hemisphere lined with its Baynat polyurethane foam. The privacy dome system caused a stir when it was first introduced, polarising OEM customers and testers alike. Some were thrilled by the prospect of almost complete visual and acoustic separation from their surroundings, while others felt that the system confined them and isolated them from other passengers or could cause motion sickness.
Privacy dome conceived for robotic taxis
The system is intended to meet the latest demands for better, more relaxing personal spaces in robotic taxis, shared cars or people movers. During the conference, Jochen Hardt, Vice President Global Marketing Mobility at Covestro, stated that, following on the heels of mobility on demand, the system is now pursuing the trend of privacy on demand. This also includes the two driving forces of creating personalised customer experiences and offering a well-designed atmosphere.
Covestro had presented this idea at the K 2019 plastics trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany. Extending automatically from the vehicle interior, the privacy dome is a capsule that fits over a passenger's head to provide protection against noise and other sounds. Covestro's Baynat foam used in this capsule has already proven its worth in other sound-insulation applications in vehicle interiors. It provides users with a sense of peace and quiet whenever they need it, no matter how many others are in the vehicle.
Noise suppression without expensive electronics
Unlike more complex and expensive ANC solutions, passive noise cancelling completely dispenses with electronics. Integrating loudspeakers in the dome even allows each passenger in an electric vehicle to select their own music for the best possible relaxation on extended journeys. Particularly in quiet electric vehicles, noise from the tyres, traffic and other passengers is much more conspicuous than in cars with combustion engines.