Mercedes Sound System Turns Their Electric Vehicles Into Musical Instruments On Wheels

One benefit of the car industry being software-focused is that automakers are now throwing a lot of different things at the wall to see what sticks. Toyota’s simulated manual gearbox for electric vehicles and Hyundai’s sports-themed “skins” for the infotainment system are just two successful ideas. Now, Mercedes is turning to musician, frontman of the musical group Black Eyed Peas, for a radical reinvention of the in-car audio experience called “MBUX Sound Drive.” In short, that means that Mercedes electric cars will soon come with special, looping audio tracks that react in unique ways to how the car is driven. The result is that you get to play DJ for a certain song, mixing it and adjusting its various layers with the steering wheel and pedals as you cruise through traffic or hit your favorite back road. In other words, the driver composes every single route. Speed, braking and turning the wheel all tweak how the music sounds, what layers are playing on top of the bass-line — all which is ideal for Mercedes electric cars because their cabins are inherently quiet. Cars will be pre-loaded with 16 different tracks, and after you hit the play button, how you drive determines the sound of the music. If you’re sufficiently confused, watch the video below to see an example of just what can be done when the driver becomes the DJ.