Anyone that’s been on a family road trip knows how annoying it can be to have to listen to one station, pod cast or selection of music. Headphones usually solve this, but now Kia has announced that its working on a new Separated Sound Zone system that lets each passenger in the car listen to their own music, without the need for separate headphones.

Kia’s Separated Sound Zone technology creates and controls the acoustic fields of the car, allowing the driver and each passenger to listen to completely different music or even make separate calls. The speakers installed in the vehicle feature technology that can reduce or increase audio levels of sound waves, which prevents the overlap of sounds being heard in each seat. The system operates the same as noise cancellation headphones, 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 Kia’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.”

Kia hopes to have the technology in a production vehicle within the next year or two.

Source: Kia