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  HQS-ICC: Optimizing in-car communication systems with the new measurement standard
HEAD News Herzogenrath (Germany), August, 2015
HQS-ICC: Optimizing in-car communication systems with the new measurement standard
Communication in a vehicle between driver and passenger should be possible in an easy way and without impairments. Frequently, for example background noise impedes the communication in a driving car. In-Car Communication systems (ICC) provide a remedy. They improve the conversational situation in a vehicle and therefore became more and more important – not only for upper class vehicles.
Testing ICC systems under realistic conditions (background noise scenarios, position of driver and passengers) is a challenging task. HEAD acoustics provides comprehensive speech quality tests for the analysis of ICC systems through the new HEAD acoustics Quality Standard HQS-ICC. The implemented tests cover important quality aspects of these systems such as noise transmission spectrum (residual noise transmitted by ICC), Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) or delay of the ICC system.
These systems are designed to work ideally with background noise present. Additionally, they consider the general situation with “near end” and “far end” speakers being close to each other with a direct acoustical coupling between them. Due to these and other specific conditions for in-car communication scenarios, ICC tests cannot be conducted in a conventional manner. HQS-ICC considers these facts through various methods.
HQS-ICC employs a technique called “Time-synchronous Noise Compensation” (TNC). It allows compensating background noise in the time domain and is used to extract only the audio signals which are transmitted by the ICC system itself.
HQS-ICC applies real “Lombard speech” as test signals. These signals are consisting of recordings of ITU-T P.501 sentences spoken by native speakers with background noise at five different levels. The main advantage: Thus, the tests take into account the frequency shifting effect as well as the level adjustment of a person talking in the presence of background noise.
HQS-ICC also takes into account the different background noise scenarios for different driving speeds. Tests for three scenarios are available: 80, 120 and 160 km/h (50, 75 and 100 mph).
HQS-ICC is a powerful tool for developers of ICC systems wanting to tune their devices. The new HEAD acoustics Quality Standard also provides various speech quality tests for car manufactures, who want to assess and optimize the overall quality of the built-in system.
Further information on HQS-ICC such as system requirements and measurement setup can be found in the     corresponding datasheet.
Screenshot of new HEAD acoustics Quality Standard HQS-ICC in communication analysis system ACQUA
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The left picture shows speech and background noise recorded in the car. After TNC analysis only the via ICC system transmitted speech remains (see picture above).
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Test setup with two artificial head measurement systems in a car.
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Steffen Scholz
HEAD acoustics GmbH
Ebertstr. 30a,
D-52134 Herzogenrath
Phone: +49 (0) 2407 577 0
Fax: +49 (0) 2407 577 99
About HEAD acoustics GmbH:
HEAD acoustics was founded in 1986 and has been involved in noise and vibration, electroacoustic and voice quality testing since its inception. HEAD acoustics is based in Herzogenrath, Germany, with affiliates in USA, Japan, France and Great Britain as well as a world-wide network of representatives. The Telecom Division of HEAD acoustics manufactures telecom test equipment and provides consulting services in the field of speech and audio quality. Moreover, HEAD acoustics closely co-operates with DECT Forum, ETSI,  ITU-T, 3GPPP, TIA CTIA, GSMA and other standardization bodies with regard to the development of quality standards for voice transmission and speech communication. In many partnership projects, HEAD acoustics has proven its competence and capabilities in conducting tests and optimizing communication products with respect to speech and audio quality under end-to-end as well as mouth-to-ear scenarios.
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