The system is named Separated Sound Zone. It makes use of a technology similar to the noise cancellation of headphones. With this technique, it is possible to provide four people with “private” and separate audio zones without headphones.
Enjoying music (and conversation, if you want) with Separated Sound Zone
The proposal focuses on the hypothetical future. Where the autonomous cars will make sharing cars with other travelers a reality. And, to make the trip more comfortable and to avoid the use of headphones. This technology would provide these independent audio spaces. But Attention, without cacophony and being able to start a conversation with the passengers at any time.
This system makes use of different speakers that project the audio to each seat in a specific way. But, they are also programmable to neutralize and change the sound waves that come from the rest of the speakers in the car.
If you actually allow those conversations at all times and save us the headphones, you may indeed have the idea of these engineers. They hope to be able to integrate it into vehicles in the next two years, and that is when we can check if the headphones are no longer needed for passengers who want to listen to different music in the car or not.