At CES 2024, music artist and entrepreneur will.i.am unveiled his groundbreaking venture, Sound Drive, which promises to transform the in-car music experience.
Set to launch this summer in Mercedes-Benz’s electric EQ models, Sound Drive aims not only to curate an in-car soundscape but to dynamically create and remix tracks based on the driver’s actions, shaping music that is, in the will.i.am’s words, “conducted by the road.”
Innovative Integration with Vehicle Data:
Sound Drive taps into the wealth of data emanating from a modern car’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU), encompassing factors like throttle input and brake pressure.
This data is then intelligently processed through a multichannel mixer, creating a unique fusion of music that adapts to the driver’s actions. The app, integrated into the MBUX infotainment system, may initially utilize up to 10 different vehicle parameters, potentially expanding its reach.
Impressive Test at CES 2024:
TechCrunch had the opportunity to test Sound Drive at CES 2024 and was impressed despite initial skepticism.
The system dynamically adjusts tracks based on driving inputs, providing a responsive and engaging experience. It goes beyond mere volume modulation, intelligently integrating lyrics to create a fluid and dynamic driving soundtrack.
Collaboration with Mercedes-Benz and Initial Launch:
Mercedes-Benz is the first automotive partner for Sound Drive, set to launch with 10 tracks this summer under the name MBUX Sound Drive.
The technology will debut in higher-performance AMG and AMG-Line EQ models before expanding to other trims in the Mercedes lineup. will.i.am, a brand ambassador for Mercedes, envisions Sound Drive’s future availability in models from various manufacturers.
Future Possibilities and Personalization:
Beyond its immediate application, Sound Drive holds the potential for users to geotag samples, linking auditory cues with memories.
This could result in a personalized soundtrack that evolves based on one’s experiences and routes. will.i.am envisioning a future where users can create musical routes reflecting personal moments, providing a unique and dynamic auditory experience during each drive.
Vision for the Future of Music:
According to will.i.am, Sound Drive is not just a technological advancement for in-car entertainment; it represents a shift in how music is experienced.
He sees it as a departure from traditional music creation methods, offering users a dynamic music experience driven by their interactions with the vehicle.