VOXX Integrated Electric Vehicle Sound System

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Background

VOXX Automotive is a Tier-1 manufacturer and supplier of automotive electronics, the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) group within the VOXX International Corporation. Known for its innovation, VOXX Automotive was named one of the North American Suppliers of the Year in 2020 by Stellantis (formerly FCA).

In 2016, Congress and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandated that automakers must add sounds to hybrid and electric vehicles when traveling at speeds of up to 18.6 miles per hour (30 km per hour). VOXX came to Porticos for support in developing an Electric Vehicle Safety Speaker (EVSS) for personal, golf, and utility vehicles.

Challenges

VOXX had already developed a product definition and working PCB for a new integrated Electric Vehicle Safety Speaker (EVSS). The target for this project was smaller non-highway legal utility vehicles, and VOXX was aiming to offer a device for EV retrofits and OEM applications. Voxx has relied on Porticos for numerous vehicular devices and systems, so was confident in asking Porticos to design, refine, and perfect this device.

The Porticos team designed a low-profile weatherproof housing for the PCB and speaker. The EVSS was designed to connect to a vehicle CAN (Controller Area Network) and project a customizable sound signature that varies with vehicle speed and direction. Porticos was able to offer several industrial design iterations and worked through a last-minute change to a custom speaker collaboratively designed by Voxx and Porticos.

Outcomes

The VOXX Integrated EVSS project was completed on time and within the budget allowed. The final product provides a unique plug-and-play path to FMVSS141 (Minimum Sound Requirements for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles) compliance, even allowing larger vehicles needing multiple sound sources to integrate multiple devices. This product is a more rugged alternative to the existing VOXX Modular EVSS system.

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