How can headphone technology increase a vehicle's fuel economy? Well, the truth is, it can't. Not directly, anyway. However, by employing an active noise cancelling system similar to what's used in some of today's high-tech headphones, General Motors solved a problem that would've otherwise plagued the GMC Terrain. In doing so, GM managed to squeeze another mile or two out of each gallon of gas put into the Terrain for an EPA rating of 32 miles per gallon highway.

GM engineers strapped a six-speed automatic to a 2.4-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine and equipped the vehicle with an eco mode that lowers the transmission's shift points while improving the gas mileage. However, when eco mode was activated, the powertrain offered up an audible hum.

To counter the buzz, engineers installed an active noise canceling system that relies on two headliner-mounted microphones to detect the hum and a frequency generator that emits an "antinoise" signal through the vehicle's speakers to cancel out the engine's boom. And that's how headphone technology, in a roundabout kinda way, cranked up the Terrain's fuel efficiency.

[Source: GM via Autopia]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
  • 2015 Toyota Highlander
    MSRP: $29,765 - $44,140
    2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    MSRP: $29,995 - $64,895
    2015 Honda Accord
    MSRP: $22,105 - $33,630
    2015 Honda Civic
    MSRP: $18,290 - $26,740
    2015 Mazda Mazda3
    MSRP: $16,945 - $25,545
    Share This Photo X