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Virtual Systems Engineering in Automotive Audio

The present paper focuses on virtual product development for automotive audio systems. In the core a multidisciplinary simulation environment is used to perform all system engineering tasks in a fully virtual environment. First the theory of a multiphysical simulation model of electrodynamic loudspeakers is described. Subsequently, this model is extended to account for enclosures used as a resonance volume for loudspeakers (especially for reproduction of low frequency musical content). Furthermore, it is shown how the multiphysical model of loudspeakers and enclosures can be extended to simulate the radiation of sound waves into the car interior. Finally the virtual audio system, described by a multiphysical simulation model, is virtually tuned and auralized long before any piece of hardware exists. Tuning and auralization require that the simulation model is extended towards a multidisciplinary simulation environment as, additionally to engineering analysis methods, paradigms of the following disciplines are added: digital signal processing, psychoacoustics, binaural audio and subjective evaluation. The integration of the human factor (i.e. how audio events are perceived by humans with respect to spectral and spatial effects) is added in the tuning process and it is demonstrated how we can ultimately listen to a virtual audio system by means of advanced auralization techniques based on a binaural playback system. Additionally some remarks on the business benefits of these methods are given and uncertainties in our simulation models, which are inherent to every modeling approach, are addressed as well.

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