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Ask the average auto enthusiast what RIM stands for and they'll probably think of wheels. To gadget freaks, however, it's shorthand for Research In Motion, the Canadian electronics company behind the Blackberry. Those two worlds could be heading on a collision course, however, if the latest corporate acquisition is any indication.

Lotus Engineering and Harman International have announced a partnership to develop Active Noise Control (ANC) technology for cars. Lotus will continue to develop their existing range of ANC technologies, and Harmon Becker will be the exclusive manufacturer of the systems, which could be customized and sold to OEMs as upscale infotainment sytems. ANC technologies currently being developed by Lotus include Road Noise Cancellation, Engine Order Cancellation, and Electronic Sound Synthesis.