Successful speech communication in vehicles is important because it facilitates social interactions as well as the delivery of navigation and safety information. Noise in vehicles is especially problematic for the elderly population with hearing deficits. A variety of objective speech intelligibility metrics have been explored over the years. Using a vehicle simulation with on-road interior sounds, the speech intelligibility index (SII) was evaluated at the sentence speech reception threshold (sSRT) using various vehicle operating conditions as well as talker and listener configurations. Unlike previous studies that used normal hearing individuals, this study used participants who had various hearing profiles, both normal hearing and hearing impaired. It was found that the SII at sSRT depended on background noise spectra. The measurement and analysis techniques described in this study can be used to design vehicle acoustics to enhance intelligibility.
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