VW creates app that translates driving action into music

Volkswagen (VW) has created an app that matches a driver’s actions behind the wheel to music in real-time in an attempt to create the perfect driving soundtrack.

The German car marque is using the “Play the Road’ app, developed by Tribal Worldwide London, to extend its recently launched Golf GTi Mark VII’s ties to music and technology.

It combines data from the car’s engine management system with the iPhone’s accelerometer to detect several parameters from the driver such as speed, turns, gear changes and driving style. The app then creates a dynamic version of a track, produced exclusively by electronic group Underworld, in real-time using the data.

The tool, which will not be made publically available, is being promoted through a digital campaign where fans can win a chance to test the app on a racetrack. It centers on a two-minute filmed “performance of the car” to the track alongside social media and a behind-the-scene video pushing people to enter the draw. Seeded PR content from famous testers of the app such as Tottenham Hotspur footballer Sandro and Boardwalk Empire actor Stephen Graham will also support the campaign. A making of video (see below) has also been created to show fans how the project came together.

Tom Wharfe, communications manager at Volkswagen Group, says it is hoping the experiment attracts younger potential owners by connecting “two classic elements of automotive advertising” in an experiential way.

He adds: “There’s a strong connection between driving and music but both are quite isolated from one another. Drivers aren’t connected to a track other than the fact that it is coming out of their radio. We’ve created something that responds to the way the car is being driven in a unique way.

“We can’t make this available to the public for obvious reasons. There are, however, learnings and spin-offs we can look at because we have the campaign template now. There are definite opportunities to expand into other types of music, different tracks and different drives.”


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