You won’t have to yell at your kids in the backseat to turn down that noise.

It feels like I first heard of a technology that allows each person in a vehicle to listen to different music years ago. For someone with different musical tastes than their family or friends, being able to listen to what you want while everyone else in the car can do the same is a technological marvel. Hyundai’s Separated Sound Zone (SSZ) technology does just that, and it appears the tech will be ready for vehicles in one to two years. Parents everywhere can rejoice.

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"Customers in the autonomous navigation era will demand increasingly customisable entertainment options within their vehicles, which includes technological innovations such as the Separated Sound System," says Kang-duck Ih, Research Fellow at Hyundai's NVH Research Lab. "I hope by providing drivers and passengers with tailored, independent audio spaces, they will experience a more comfortable and entertaining transportation environment.

The technology could eliminate the use of headphones while driving – particularly by anti-social teenagers and device-hungry children. Passengers in an SSZ-equipped vehicle can connect their smartphone via Bluetooth to the sound system and listen to their own music without interference from, or be interfering with, other audio streams in the vehicle.

Hyundai Separated Sound Zone Technology

The system also allows the automaker to isolate sounds that only the driver needs to hear, such as navigation sounds or various alert notifications. This can help maintain a quiet experience for the vehicle’s passengers while the driver can focus on operating the car. SSZ technology can also isolate hands-free phone calls to help ensure privacy.

Hyundai says it's been working on this technology since 2014. SSZ speakers use “scientific principles to reduce or increase audio levels of sound waves. This negates the overlap of sounds being heard in each seat, creating the same effect as current noise cancellation systems, but without the need for headphones.”

It sounds complicated, but the result is a truly unique driving experience for driver and passengers.

Gallery: Hyundai Separated Sound Zone Technology

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Hyundai Motor Company Showcases Next-Generation Separated Sound Zone Technology

SEOUL, August 13, 2018 - Hyundai Motor Company revealed for the first time, its next-generation Separated Sound Zone (SSZ) technology that allows each passenger of a vehicle to experience an audio stream tailored to their individual needs, including music, hands-free phone calls, and vehicle alerts, whilst maintaining a headphone-free social space where passengers can converse freely.

SSZ technology creates and controls the acoustic fields of the car, allowing the driver and each passenger to hear isolated sounds. The many speakers installed in the vehicle feature technology that uses scientific principles to reduce or increase audio levels of sound waves. This negates the overlap of sounds being heard in each seat, creating the same effect as current noise cancellation systems, but without the need for headphones.

"Customers in the autonomous navigation era will demand increasingly customizable entertainment options within their vehicles, which includes technological innovations such as the Separated Sound System." says Kang-duck Ih, Research Fellow at Hyundai's NVH Research Lab. "I hope by providing drivers and passengers with tailored, independent audio spaces, they will experience a more comfortable and entertaining transportation environment."

People's musical tastes vary, so some passengers choose to use headphones during a journey to isolate their audio stream, but this also creates an unnecessary social barrier when interacting with other passengers. When travelling in a vehicle equipped with next-generation SSZ technology, each passenger can connect their smartphone via Bluetooth and listen to their own music without interference from, or interfering with other passenger's audio streams.

When the SSZ is utilized, hands-free phone calls can also be isolated to individual passengers, ensuring privacy when having important phone conversations on the move.

Furthermore, this ground-breaking technology can eliminate unnecessary sounds for the passenger, but provide them for the driver. Navigation sounds, or various alerts allow the driver to focus on controlling the vehicle, while the SSZ system isolates these sounds, maintaining a quiet area for the other passengers. This has a particularly strong application for drivers with a sleeping child in the vehicle.

SSZ technology has been in development since 2014, and the completed mass production system is expected to be ready for installation in vehicles within one to two years.

For the video of Separated Sound Zone technology described above, please visit https://youtu.be/lokXL8qyu1c.