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MICHELIN Acoustic: the tire that turns down the sound

When referring to the pleasure of driving, one immediately thinks of road-holding, steering quality or how well equipped the vehicle is. But there is also another important criterion: the noise level inside the vehicle.

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How can acoustic comfort be defined? The notion of comfort is highly subjective, but what we hear affects our mood, our nervous system and our concentration. According to the Swedish magazine Vi Bilägare, the quietest car interior is 65.9 dB on average, whereas the noisiest is 77.4 dB. By comparing these figures to the noise levels to which are ears are subjected on a daily basis, we observe that the noise inside a vehicle is somewhere between a shouted conversation and a concert of classical music.

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When a vehicle is moving the noise generated inside the vehicle comes from three main sources; the powertrain, aerodynamics and the noise of the tires rolling over the road. Depending on the driving speed, they are not responsible for the noise level in equal measure: at 10km/h, 90% of the noise is generated by the engine, whereas at 150km/h, vibration from the tires is 80% responsible. In short, the faster you drive, the more noise is caused by roadway/tire interaction.  

The search for acoustic comfort motivated our teams of researchers to improve acoustic performance. Innovative MICHELIN technology consists of applying polyurethane foam to the inner surface of the tire, which absorbs some of the vibration and therefore the noise that it generates. On MICHELIN Pilot Sport 3 models, this technology is used to reduce the overall noise inside the vehicle by between 1 and 3 dB(A) and by up to 8 dB(A)* in the specific range of 200 to 250 Hz)] or to halve the overall noise inside the vehicle (and divide it by up to 4 in the specific range of 200 to 250 Hz)* without affecting performance. To put it more simply, this means moving from the noise of a shouted conversation down to that of a normal conversation. MICHELIN Acoustic technology, which is already offered by Mercedes AMG on its Class S models, will soon be available to all those who intend ….. to hear better. 

* depending on the vehicle