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Sonic Interaction in Intelligent Cars

This project explored how sound design can be used to enhance the user experience in future autonomous vehicles.

Purpose and goal

The introduction of automated vehicles (SAE level 4-5) represents a radical shift in the interaction between the vehicles and their users. Information and functions that were previously useful may no longer serve a purpose, while new information and interactions may need to be implemented. The main goal of this project was to explore how interaction through sound can be used to support trust, comfort, and safety for users in future autonomous vehicles. The project sought answers to the following key questions:

1. What roles do interactive sounds play in future unsupervised automated driving?

2. Can usefulness, and the users' sense of trust, safety and comfort in vehicles be affected by sonic interaction?

3. How do different sound designs and sound generation methods affect people's behavior, mood, emotions and well-being in the vehicle?


Today, there is limited knowledge about how interaction design and sound design should be formulated for autonomous vehicles. The challenges in this project consisted partly of understanding users' future needs. Additionally, a challenge was to find suitable solutions for sound interaction and to test these solutions in a way that yields reliable results.


The project developed a framework for sound design tailored for autonomous vehicles. Additionally, design concepts and prototypes were created and tested in VR environments and in test vehicles on a test track. Based on the results from the project's studies, we observed that sound has the potential to increase trust in autonomous vehicles and reduce motion sickness during travel.


The project generated entirely new insights into the significance and potential of sound to enhance the user experience in future vehicles. It produced guidelines, demonstrative materials, prototypes, and research publications that can guide developers and manufacturers in the future use of sound. In the long term, this could contribute to increased acceptance of efficient and safe autonomous vehicles, which could have positive effects on traffic safety and the environment.

More information

Public report:…


Project name





Region Norrbotten, Region Stockholm, Västra Götaland Region

RISE role in project

State-of-the-art analysis, user evaluations and development of design guidelines.

Project start


2018-11-15 - 2020-11-15

Total budget

14.065.527 SEK


Volvo Cars, Pole Position Production


Strategic Vehicle Research and Innovation, FFI

Project website


Project members

Supports the UN sustainability goals

11. Sustainable cities and communities
13. Climate action
Johan Fagerlönn

Contact person

Johan Fagerlönn

Senior Researcher


Read more about Johan

Contact Johan
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