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Volkswagen creates driving style-linked music app

Thu, 28 Nov 2013

VOLKSWAGEN has created a new smartphone that improvises its own music based on how the car is being driven.

Working with British electronic musicians Underworld, Volkswagen has built the experimental ‘Play the Road’ app to help celebrate the launch of the seventh generation Golf GTI.

It works by connecting to the car and using its own in-built accelerometer to analyse speed, engine revs, steering, throttle and braking inputs and the urgency of each to create a unique, ever-changing music that ranges from serene background chillout vibes to fast-paced electronica.

The idea is that drivers can create a non-stop music that perfectly blends with how they’re driving, and therefore with their mood as well.

The app is not, and won’t ever be, available to the public, as Tom Wharfe, Communications Manager at Volkswagen UK explains.

“Music and driving have always been synonymous since the invention of the in-car stereo.

“We wanted to explore how we could build on the driving experience and make music feel like an integral part of driving.

“For safety reasons, we can’t release Play the Road to the public, but it’s important for us to continue to innovate, learn from this and find applications for our future cars.”

Underworld’s Rick Smith added: “I think we all felt from the beginning that if it was just an experiment that produced an experimental result, and that was it, then it was going to be a failure.

“It needed to arouse emotions, as music does. What was really fascinating, was our precision driver, a self-proclaimed non-musician, doing the most beautiful things – performances.”

By Press Association reporter