Designing informative sounds in buses


The Carnot Star project “Designing informative sounds in buses” is a collaborative project between the Marseille transit operator and several laboratories from Aix-Marseille University to further improve the bus trip using auditory information. The laboratory consortium is composed of:

  • CNRS-LMA: Richard Kronland-Martinet, Gaëtan Parseihian
  • ISM: Christophe Bourdin, Marie-Laure Mille
  • LPCLS: Vincent Bréjard
  • Centre PsyCLE: Nathalie Bonnardel

The project is coordinated by Richard Kronland-Martinet (CNRS-LMA).


Challenges of the project

This project aims at designing a high quality multi-channel sound spatialization system composed of 10 loudspeakers in order to study 3 fundamental actions of the sounds on the bus passengers:

  • Alert the passengers of the next stop in a playful and intuitive way
  • Brighten up the route with spatialized soundscapes to increase the trip’s agreeableness
  • Using sound to alert passengers of possibly destabilizing emergency braking


Project overview

Stop announcements

The goal here is to reconsider the sound alerts informing about the bus stops while illustrating those with typical auditory icons inspired from the places and the city history and geography.


Spatialized soundscapes

The goal here is to virtually open the bus on surrounding space by generating spatialized and progressive natural soundscapes in order to positively impact passengers’ behaviour and mood while informing them of potential points of interest along the route.


Sound to secure passengers

The goal here is to use spatialized and dynamic sounds in order to alert, in advance, the passengers of destabilizing emergency braking to avoid falls.



Parseihian G., Delgrange E., Bourdin C., Bréjard, V., Arpaja, D., Agier, F., Kronland-Martinet R. Towards a new approach to design sounds in public transport, Proc. of the 12th International Symposium on CMMR, São Paolo, Brazil, July 5-8, 2016.


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