Volkswagen + Underworld Colloborate On Generative Music Driving Application

Volkswagen + Underworld have collaborated on a generative music application that creates music based on your style of driving.

Play the Road generates music via a phone app that’s connected to the Volkswagen Golf GTI’s onboard computer. The app uses the driver’s location and movements to generate music live.

Here’s a video that explores the technical side of the system:

The collaboration is part of promotion – but let us know what you think of the idea of generative music as an alternative to traditional radio!

13 thoughts on “Volkswagen + Underworld Colloborate On Generative Music Driving Application

  1. Hitler wanted to call the factory the “Porsche Plant,” but Ferdinand Porsche was opposed to the idea. Instead, it became the Volkswagen Plant.
    Another DIRTY EPIC.

  2. And is there also a specific music when the car crashes because the driver wanted to listen a different kind of music or wanted to “experiment” any other style? (musical and driving).

    It’s not useless, I think it’s dangerous.

  3. The demo kind of shows that this algorithm-based music creation doesn’t require much creativity from the end-user. It is pre-engineered to avoid musical “train-wrecks”. And I wholeheartedly agree with Met, it probably won’t help with actual wrecks, though.

    It’s a little unfortunate that this wasn’t first designed for pedestrians. That would be cool to see.

  4. I wonder what it plays when you crash… It doesn’t seem that generative though. It looks as though they’ve just mapped some Underworld loops, samples, pentatonic scales to play when you drive the car fast or slow, rev the rpms and steer. It’s like mapping a pentatonic scale and loops to anything that produces data like an onboard computer. I like Underworld, but if it were truly generative it wouldn’t be Underworld or at least it would provide more variation through real-time synthesis, sampling and signal processing. I don’t really see it generating much at all except for aletering existing material. It also seems gimicky that it only applies to those who buy this vehicle. I think it would be really neat if there was a format that created variations evertime you play a song, but that’s a different discussion. This is looking like Volkswagen kitsch.

  5. Great to see industry try to use ‘hip’ musos to flog a car and to draw attention to a brand.
    Dub no Bass is a great great album, and captured the time perfectly. This is very far away from their roots . The smith said hang the dj, The corporate hijacking is great for the artist regards cash, but this is lame and hardly valuable or artistic. Reminds me of wankers like Richie Hawtin, doing these ubber chic production videos in Ibiza, a posh white kid coining it in , when the originators of tehno( Juan,and co) remain pretty much in the side lines.
    Those who pay the piper call the tune, should be sponsored by Vaseline, specially where corporate hawtin is concerned.

  6. I assume it plays dubstep when you start crashing into things? I don’t think its particularly dangerous, any driver with a tendency towards distraction has always had plenty of things to fidget with – phone, cd’s, carrier pidgeons, etc. It might be a fun app to throw to a passenger though, and would be a great thing to throw open to developers in terms of promoting music/albums!

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