Every driver knows that pairing the music with the driving experience can be endlessly rewarding.
Whether it’s Andy Stott’s Passed Me By while driving through the city at 3AM or Three 6 Mafia’s ‘Da Summa’ on a hot August day with the windows cracked, the music can directly influence your drive – but what if your driving could actually influence the music itself?
This is what Volkswagen asked in the process of developing innovative new app Play The Road. Developed with assistance from electronic music dons Underworld, the app is intended to morph a variable piece of music in response to motion changes, and from what we’ve seen the results are pretty incredible.
Underworld created a “dynamic composition” that would be able to change in relation to turns of the wheel, a gear shift or even a change in location, and the app reads these changes from the VW Golf GTI’s internal computer. It’s an ambitious project that has demanded many months of collaboration and coding, and manages to position the driver as the musician. As Underworld’s Rick Smith says “What was really fascinating, was our precision driver, a self-proclaimed non-musician, doing the most beautiful things – performances.”
Karl Hyde, also of Underworld, revealed that driving and music are “probably the most important things” in his musical education, so it certainly sounds as if VW picked the right people for the job. You can see from the video below that the hard work wasn’t in vain, and the combination of music and movement appears to be absolutely seamless.
Sadly for safety reasons, Volkswagen can’t release Play the Road to the public (we’re guessing people might take to driving erratically simply to trigger new sounds) but they’re attempting to integrate the technology into future developments.