A Nissan innovation known as acoustic meta-material has won an award from Popular Science in a category for best innovations in the automotive sector. Nissan’s noise-reducing material joins several leading companies showing off some of the world’s best car and automotive technologies. These include uniquely shaped airbags, a self-tinting see-through sun visor, fast chargers for electric vehicles and real cruise control on a motorcycle among others.
Nissan Innovation Comes Out On Top
It’s not easy making it to the top in the highly competitive automotive sector, not to mention being named in Popular Science. It was established in 1872 and is one of America’s oldest and most trusted brands for reporting on ground-breaking innovations and discoveries.
The Popular Science ‘Best of What’s New Awards’ recognise products or technologies that represent significant advancements and breakthroughs in their categories. The latest Nissan innovation deserves accolades as it will help make cars quieter and more energy efficient.
What Is Nissan’s Acoustic Meta-Material?
Nissan’s acoustic meta-material is a new lightweight sound insulation material with surprisingly simple makeup. It’s made from a combination of a lattice structure and plastic film which controls air vibrations. This material composition helps limit the transmission of wide frequency band noise between 500 and 1200 hertz, specifically road and engine noise.
Previously, most soundproofing materials for road and engine noise reduction consisted mainly of heavy rubber board. While it certainly worked, these rubber boards are quite heavy and can affect fuel economy. However, thanks to this latest Nissan innovation, the acoustic meta-material weighs 75% less but offers the same degree of sound isolation.
The material is a result of a significant investment in research and development which has now reaped the rewards. It represents an amazing breakthrough by Nissan engineers in their effort to offer customers a more relaxing ride in a quieter cabin while reducing vehicle weight and improving mileage.
Currently under development for commercialisation, Nissan’s acoustic meta-material is a true reflection on how Nissan Intelligent Mobility technology is being developed for an enhanced driving experience.
Susumu Miura, Nissan’s advanced material engineer in charge of the acoustic meta-material project said: “We plan to use acoustic meta-material in a wide range of applications – not only in luxury cars and electric vehicles but also in vehicles where the use of heavy sound insulation materials has been limited. Through the development and use of this material, we aim to make our customers’ driving experience more comfortable and enjoyable.”
People often don’t give vehicle noise reduction a second thought but it plays a significant role in making cars quieter and more comfortable. Automakers refer to this as “noise vibration and harshness” (NVH) and while it’s not a new concept, Nissan engineers took the initiative and developed a better, lighter alternative.
Nissan’s acoustic meta-material could transform the automotive sector, especially for electric vehicles as drivers are more aware of wind, tyre and engine noise. The Japanese automaker debuted the material on the Ariya concept SUV early in 2020 at CES and now, it’s making headlines with an award from Popular Science.