AES 2017 International Conference on Automotive Audio Success in San Francisco

Across three days this September 2017, in the San Francisco area, the 3rd international Audio Engineering Society conference on automotive audio took place. “San Francisco is an area that is currently experiencing an influx of automotive OEMs, startups, and suppliers in response to the rapidly evolving automotive market. The theme evident at the conference was that the traditional automotive customer, and the established 
image of mobility, is changing. ‘ACES’
(Autonomous Connected Electric & Shared
Vehicles) are causing shifts in the industry,
and continued development of business practices will be required to ensure products and services are developed to remain attractive and relevant to these new types of consumer, to what they do, what they want, and what they own.”[1]

The conference exhibits, demonstrated interactively how new and established technologies can be applied to automotive. Many diverse set of disciplines were represented, broadening out from automotive into broadcast, simulation, and measurement technology.

This year we had over 150 registrations, with delegates from automotive OEMs, tier one suppliers, acoustics and software companies, hi-fi, navigation, and metadata organizations. 14 paper sessions, 5 demonstration vehicles inside the venue. Interactive exhibits from measurement, electronics, and DSP software companies were open across the whole weekend to allow demonstrations of their latest products. Each day was bracketed by a keynote speech at the start, to put the concepts presented into context, and a social reception at the end, to allow delegates to network with one another and discuss the day’s topics. At one of these there was the chance to enjoy some music from a Bay Area jazz trio The Bartron Tyler Group.

My thanks go to Alfred Svobodnik for his help in the extended planning of the event over the last two years and to the other members of the organizing committee, Wolfram Jähn and Niklas Schmincke, for their coordination efforts at the event, and Angelo Farina and Martin Kreißig for chairing the papers sessions. Thank you  to the keynote speakers, panelists, authors, sponsors, AES, exhibitors, and visiting delegates. The automotive audio landscape has dramatically changed in the five years since the last conference in Munich 2012. This year’s event was considered a great success by all present and, with talk already underway to decide when and where to hold the next, it will be interesting to watch which companies successfully adapt and which new faces will be joining from other industries when it comes round again.

The papers from this conference can be downloaded from the AES E-Library at http://www.aes.org/publications/conferences/?confNum=ID-169. AES members get free access to the E-Library. A number of the presentations have also been made available at: http://www.aes.org/conferences/2017/automotive/presentations.cfm

[1] http://www.aes.org/events/reports/2017autoConference.pdf

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