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Self-Driving Cars: A Renaissance for Spatial Sound?

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For the first time since the invention of the automobile, self-driving cars are upending automotive audio. Four new forces; self-driving cars, people sitting anywhere in a car, the need for rapid layout configurability, and different ownership models will require something new to meet the audio need. The core of a new system will be a ‘phaseless’ way to generate spatial sound. Additionally, the ability to generate a fully discrete Center channel that appears before the listener, no matter where they are will be essential. Through mathematical formulas and future-sound layouts, this paper identifies the issues, trends and discusses the key capabilities that audio systems will need to deliver high quality sound to any listener location within a self-driving car.

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