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Teaching Tomorrow's Automobiles to Hear

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A modified roof fin for testing acoustic sensors for the capture of external noise.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT have developed a prototype system for self-driving vehicles that is capable of recognizing external noises such as sirens.

Credit: Hannes Kalter/Fraunhofer IDMT

Researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology (IDMT) have developed a system that allows self-driving cars to recognize external noises such as sirens.

The team trained the system to recognize the acoustic signature of specific sound events using machine learning methods that rely on acoustic libraries.

In addition, the researchers created beamforming algorithms that enable the system to dynamically locate moving sound sources.

The researchers also developed artificial intelligence-based algorithms to distinguish specific noises the system is designed to identify from other noise.

Said IDMT's Danilo Hollosi, “Such systems would be able to immediately recognize the siren of an approaching emergency vehicle, for example, so that the autonomous vehicle would then know to move over to one side of the highway and form an access lane for the rescue services."

From Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
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