Hearing for the car

© Fraunhofer IDMT/Hannes Kalter; Konzeptbild
© Fraunhofer IDMT/Anika Bödecker
© Fraunhofer IDMT

From which direction and at what speed is the siren approaching? On what type of road surface is the car currently travelling? Fraunhofer IDMT in Oldenburg is working on the car that can hear this. Modern vehicles are equipped with numerous driver assistance systems, such as cameras, lidar and radar, which help with parking or keeping in lane. They act as its eyes, so to speak, and identify relevant objects in the environment. What cars still lack is the sense of hearing. In order to put »The Hearing Car« into practice, however, it is important that external sounds are automatically perceived and identified in real time. To enable this, external sounds and driving situations must be understood automatically with the help of suitable sensor systems. Here, audio data are processed in line with the highest data privacy requirements. Its ears give the (autonomous) vehicle acoustic perception through which it can recognise, for example, an approaching emergency vehicle with the siren switched on earlier than human hearing and then form an emergency lane.


  • Acoustic environment identification as well as platform and component monitoring for driver assistance systems
  • Siren recognition and localisation in different driving scenarios as well as other early warning systems
  • Recording and interpretation of acoustic environment and vehicle data for autonomous driving and situational adjustments
  • Maximum data privacy through acoustic anonymisation strategies

Further information

»The Hearing Car®« (Fraunhofer IDMT in Oldenburg)

Acoustic Event Detection (Fraunhofer IDMT in Oldenburg)