Conventional active control of road noise inside a vehicle cabin generally uses a pure feedforward control system with the conventional filtered-x least mean square (FXLMS) algorithm. While it can yield satisfactory noise reduction when the reference signal is well correlated with the targeted noise, in practice, it is not always possible to obtain a reference signal that is highly coherent with a broadband response typically seen in road noise. To address this problem, an active noise control (ANC) system with a combined feedforward–feedback controller is proposed to improve the performance of attenuating road noise. To take full advantage of the feedforward control, a subband (SFXLMS) algorithm, which can achieve more noise attenuation over a broad frequency range, is used to replace the conventional FXLMS algorithm. Meanwhile, a feedback controller, based on internal model control (IMC) architecture, is introduced to reduce the road noise components that have strong response but are poorly correlated with the reference signals. The proposed combined feedforward–feedback ANC system has been demonstrated by a simulation model with six reference accelerometers, two control loudspeakers and one error microphone, using actual data measured from a test vehicle. Results show that the performance of the proposed combined controller is significantly better than using either a feedforward controller only or a feedback controller only, and is able to achieve about 4 dBA of overall sound pressure level reduction.

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