Mercedes-AMG teamed up with musician will.i.am to develop a technology called MBUX Sound Drive that lets owners use their car as both a musical instrument and a recording studio. Although it sounds science fiction-esque, this system is headed to production later in 2024.
Onboard sensors feed data to a new software that interprets the car’s basic movements as sounds. For example, there’s a steering sound, a braking sound, and an acceleration sound. So, MBUX Sound Drive lets the driver compose a song by driving. Instead of playing, say, a progression of G, D, C, and G chords on a guitar, on paper your new song might look something like brake, steer, accelerate, and brake.
If part of your daily commute turns out to be a really catchy tune, you might be on your way to becoming a musician. Mercedes-AMG notes that its long-term goal for the technology is to turn it into an open music platform. You’ll be able to create a track, record it, and upload it for others to rock out to — there’s no word yet on whether you can add vocals to the song, though. The platform will be open to all music genres and to anyone who can get behind the wheel of a compatible Mercedes-AMG car. Playing live shows may be a little trickier, however.
MBUX Sound Drive will be rolled out to Mercedes-AMG models equipped with the second-generation MBUX infotainment system about halfway through 2024. It will get beamed to compatible cars via an over-the-air software update, though pricing information isn’t available.
This isn’t the first time Mercedes-AMG has collaborated with will.i.am. In May 2022, the brand unveiled a one-off model called will.i.AMG that took the form of a big coupe with a squared-off, G-Class-like front end and massive suicide doors. It was based on the GT Four-Door sedan.