For many of us, our car's sound system is the best hi-fi we own. It usually offers quality sound at volumes loud enough to torture your neighbors, and needless to say, it's extremely portable. Ford now has a creative new patent that aims to combine multiple cars into the perfect sound system for your next big party.
The patent was published by the USPTO on April 20 under the underwhelming name of the "Multi-Vehicle Audio System." The clever idea is that multiple vehicles could have their audio systems wirelessly synced up to act as individual speakers in a large-scale stereo or surround sound configuration. For example, two vehicles could be parked on either side of a party, and assigned to act as the left and right speakers respectively. Each vehicle will then play the appropriate sound for its assigned channel.
Ford also uses diagrams to demonstrate other applications of the technology. Various layouts show cars acting as a speaker system for an outdoor cinema. There's also a four-way surround setup around a group of people that would be ideal for tailgating or a dance floor.
Ford's patent speaks particularly about using the technology on autonomous vehicles. The system would thus be able to command the cars to arrange themselves in the necessary configuration for stereo or surround sound in the given area. The vehicles would then be commanded to open the doors, windows, or roof, before playing content at an appropriate volume to get the party started.
The technology would realistically work just as well without autonomous vehicles, of course. It would just require that the vehicles be manually parked in the right configuration before syncing them up to play. The patent notes that vehicles would use GPS and communicate wirelessly to determine their own position in the audio system and play the right channel content accordingly.
The Drive has reached out to Ford regarding the patent and any future plans to put it into production. This article will be updated when a response from Ford is available.
We'd love to see the technology included in the next crop of Ford's infotainment systems. After all, who doesn't want to roll down to the beach with the homies to crank some great tunes and dance the night away? With this patent, Ford looks to be at the head of the pack when it comes to peak party technologies.
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