How The Detroit Symphony Is Creating Musical Alerts For The Lincoln Aviator SUV

By Amit Chowdhry ● Updated November 6, 2018

According to a report by The Detroit Free Press, Lincoln Motor Company is working with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to replace the white noise of routine driver alerts with music for the Aviator SUV. The chime sounds — which includes a blend of percussion instruments along with the violin and viola — created by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra will be played for 25 vehicle features such as seatbelt and open fuel door alerts.

“We thought, ‘What if you could redesign your whole soundscape, so it feels more luxurious and just elevates your ride?’ We wanted this to be your sanctuary,” said Ford Motor Company’s Vehicle Harmony Engineer Jennifer Prescott via The Detroit Free Press. “The material cars play is not very rich; it’s just dings and beeps. And we didn’t want to hire a company that hires musicians to brand companies. We wanted the world-class musicians who bring an authentic feel.”

The chime sounds will debut in the Lincoln Aviator SUV, which is set to be introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 28th. And then these sounds are going to be rolled out to all Lincoln vehicles going forward.

There are three levels of chimes that will be integrated into the Aviator vehicle, which are non-critical, soft-warning, and hard-warning chimes. Over 125 options were recorded and reviewed in listening clinics before being selected.

Prescott also said that Ford engineers are testing how these chimes sound different for vehicles that have cloth seats versus leather seats. And Prescott added that hundreds of hours of testing are being done to make sure “everything orchestrates correctly.”

With a deep appreciation for music, Prescott plays the piano and clarinet and all of her children play instruments as well. And she said that if you pay close attention to your vehicles, you will start hearing how sounds and chimes distinguish the experience of every vehicle and are part of the branding.