Volkswagen make driving music that responds to the road

Car stuff

In a bid to promote the new Volkswagen Golf GTI, the car makers have recruited trendy electronic musicians Underworld to produce an intriguing collaboration: driving music that reacts to how you drive.

Using the car’s engine data, in combination with data collected from the driver’s phone – GPS coordinates, accelerometer data on how bumpy it is, and so on, the app they’ve developed will adjust the music to the road. So when you speed up it’ll play something fast and dramatic – and when you’re stuck in traffic, it’ll play something that’ll hopefully calm you down. It’s pretty cool.

You can see it in action in the video below. Astonishingly one of the comments on the YouTube page actually makes an interesting point too: “This would be a very cool way of providing driver feedback when driving an electric car, given the lack of engine noise.”

To show us how much work went into it – they’ve also released some behind-the-scenes videos:

Karl Hyde from Underworld had this to say, whilst accepting a massive wad of corporate cash:

“Driving and music are probably the most important things in my musical education: sitting in the back of my dad’s car at night. It was a filmscape to me, it was beautifully lit and the dashboard was magical, and radio Luxemburg or some pirate station was on the radio and that was everything to me. It’s still the root of why I love music. Being in a car surfing the radio, finding stuff that suits how you feel.”

Want to have a go in your own car? Well, tough luck. Disappointingly the app won’t actually be made available to consumers – with Volkswagen citing safety concerns.

James O’Malley
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