Mercedes-Benz has recently announced that its upcoming model E-Class sedan will be equipped with new car safety technology designed to protect the ear drums of drivers and passengers during an automobile accident. Mercedes is calling the auto accident ear injury prevention technology, "Pre-Safe Sound."
As reported by Wired:
[O]ur bodies have a special trick to protect us from the damage that kind of sound can do. When your ear hears a sudden loud noise, the acoustic reflex contracts the stapedius muscle in the middle ear to block out the sound, protecting the sensitive eardrums and other bits of the inner ear.
Mercedes has taken advantage of this in the E-Class, with a new feature called Pre-Safe Sound. When the car senses an imminent impact (using onboard cameras and ultrasonic sensors), the stereo plays a loud static-type noise around 85 decibels. It’s not so loud that it hurts, but it’s loud enough to trigger the acoustic reflex and protect the ear from the much louder sound of the accident that arrives a moment later.
This is terrific innovation in the car safety arena. Damage to the ears or eardrums is not entirely uncommon in auto accidents as hearing loss can occur. Simply by emitting static noise before the impact, Mercedes has been able to minimize ear injuries in auto accidents. Below, you can watch a video of how the Pre-Sound system works on these Mercedes sedans.