TAURA: Traffic Noise Auralisator

Within the research project TAURA, a traffic noise auralisator is developed that covers road traffic and railway noise. The key element is a synthesiser that simulates the acoustical emission of a great many of different vehicles, operating on a wide variety of surfaces and under different operating conditions.


The videos on the right show auralisations which were generated with our calculation model.

Railway noise
A synthesiser concept was developed which allows to artificially generate rolling and impact sounds of railways. The synthesis is based on a physical approach in which the noise generation mechanism is modelled. It thus allows for auralising the effect of varying wheel and rail roughness and different noise mitigation measures at the source or on the propagation path.
Acoustical representation of a train by distributed point sources (coloured stars)
Signal flow of the auralization model for rolling and impact noise source signals for a single wheel pass-by
Accelerating passenger cars

For accelerating passenger cars an emission synthesiser was established. It separately generates tyre/road sound and propulsion sound using spectral modeling synthesis. The characteristics of the propulsion sound depend on the instantaneous engine speed, engine load and emission angle. The steering parameters of the synthesiser were obtained from measurements on a chassis dynamometer. To produce realistic auralisations, the driving dynamics are simulated and used as input for the synthesiser.

Lab measurement with a passenger car on a chassis dynamometer at Empa
Pass-by measurement of a passenger car


Pieren, R., Heutschi, K., Wunderli, J.M., Snellen, M. & Simons, D.G. 2017. Auralization of railway noise: Emission synthesis of rolling and impact noise. Applied Acoustics 127, 34-45. (URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003682X17300361)

Pieren, R., Wunderli, J.M., Zemp. A., Sohr, S. & Heutschi, K. 2016. Auralisation of Railway Noise: A Concept for the Emission Synthesis of Rolling and Impact Noise. Invited paper, In: Proceedings of the 45th International Congress on Noise Control Engineering (INTER-NOISE 2016), Hamburg, Germany.

Pieren, R., Bütler, T. & Heutschi, K. 2016. Auralisation of Accelerating Passenger Cars using Spectral Modeling Synthesis. Applied Sciences 6(1), 5, 1-27. (URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2076-3417/6/1/5/html)

Pieren, R., Bütler, T. & Heutschi, K. 2015. Auralisation of accelerating passenger cars. Invited paper, In: Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Noise Control (Euronoise 2015), Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Dr. Reto Pieren

Dr. Reto Pieren
Head of Group Environmental Acoustics

Phone: +41 58 765 6031



TAURA is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).