Evaluating the sound quality of a vehicle is a complex process. Physical and psychoacoustical measures cannot sufficiently describe this process with only superficial cues. Customer quality evaluation is based on their perceptions, interpretations, and expectations. This study generated a semantic space for vehicle sound. In other words, we elicited numerous attributes related to the perception and quality of vehicle sound. We sought to determine customers’ common language that appropriately describes vehicle sound quality. This study developed and applied a novel systematic approach, which includes a free verbalization interview, a test of participants’ understanding of acoustic attributes, and participant evaluation of the ability of these attributes to describe perceptible vehicle sound properties. In this manner we created a complete semantic database to describe vehicle sounds and testing the relevance and redundancy of these attributes. At the end of the investigation we developed two sets of 28 attributes for interior and exterior driving conditions.
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