MBUX Sound Drive: Revolutionizing Driving with Musical Inputs – Debuting at CES 2024
According to recent developments, your future electric vehicle could potentially assist in creating musical compositions thanks to a collaborative effort between Mercedes-Benz and Will.I.Am. This dynamic duo has joined forces for CES 2024 with the intention of transforming vehicle inputs and in-car signals into melodic expressions, effectively converting the car into a “virtual musical instrument.”
Dubbed MBUX Sound Drive, this innovative feature responds to the driver’s actions, such as braking, accelerating, turning, and energy regeneration, and translates them into catchy melodies and tunes. It was launched alongside the MB.OS software by the car manufacturer, and it can now be found in both current and upcoming Mercedes-Benz models.
I had the chance to try it out at CES, and I was pleasantly surprised by the entertainment value of the device. During moments of pause or when idling in a parking lot, Sound Drive produces a basic bass or percussion rhythm. As you accelerate, additional elements are introduced into the musical composition, including melodies, harmonies, and vocals that build upon each other. The sound reaches its peak once you reach the speed limit, promoting responsible driving rather than encouraging excessive speed. However, it definitely adds a unique touch of charm while cruising through town.
The “propulsion noises,” as they are referred to, are undeniably distinct and unconventional compared to the Porsche Taycan’s Electric Sport Sound and the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT’s simulated exhaust growl. For those who were let down by artificial engine sounds, Sound Drive will either be praised for its originality or criticized for further removing the experience from traditional combustion engines. In certain situations, such as bumper-to-bumper traffic, it may become a bit irritating or mesmerizing, but it can easily be deactivated if needed.
Mercedes is aiming to transform MBUX Sound Drive into an accessible music platform. With this new format, musicians and creatives from all corners of the world could potentially create a diverse array of genres that would be compatible with the system. This will enable drivers to select the perfect soundtrack for their daily commute, scenic drive, or exhilarating journey through the canyon.
According to a statement from Will.I.Am featured in a press release by Mercedes, the MBUX Sound Drive feature combines driving and sound technology to elevate the driving experience. This innovative feature allows drivers to alter music simply by driving. “I am eagerly anticipating the creative possibilities for composers, producers, and songwriters who will use this feature to craft new pieces and revitalize old favorites for motorists to enjoy while on the road,” expressed Will.I.Am.
At the media-exclusive launch of MBUX Sound Drive, Will.I.Am declared that this revolutionary system would completely transform the way people enjoy music in their vehicles. He emphasized the vast potential for creating intricate soundscapes, stating that it transcends the traditional two-minute listening experience and becomes a multi-dimensional journey.
The MBUX system, now in its second generation, will soon be integrated into all Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG cars. This update is set to roll out in the latter half of 2024. In addition, current drivers with compatible infotainment systems can also access this feature through an over-the-air update, on-demand via their vehicles’ infotainment interface.