VW Drive Music

The car becomes the composer 

with the driver the conductor.

Keith Parkins
Nov 27, 2013 · 2 min read

VW developed the concept of the hot hatchback, the GTi, a favourite of boy racers.

They have now developed something very, very, clever, though not necessarily wise.

They have taken revs (rpm) and drive speed (mph or Km/hour) from the on-board computer, combined this with location, acceleration from accelerometers, gyroscope and GPS on an iPhone, to produce or at least control music. All happening in real time.


As I said very clever, but wise?

We already have cowboys driving around with music thudding out, aggressive driving to match, and the equivalent effect on the driver of consuming a couple of pints of beer.

If the driving is influencing the music, how is this going to influence the driver to influence the music?


All of the data collected is filtered and smoothed before use.

The application makes use of the musical programming language PD (Pure Data) to generate the music and effects live. So you create unique music with your drive in real time.

This is similar to what Imogen Heap was developing for her jogging app.

In the late 1960s, I developed something similar, only the music was influencing external effects. I took the frequency, the loudness, and used this to control lights. At the time novel, not done before.

In the early 1970s, a friend and I, more the friend than I, I was merely helping, designed and built liquid crystal displays. Then designed and built a rev counter and a clock using the displays.

In the early 1970s, I built and installed electronic ignition. Something cars lacked at the time. I also postulated how could be computer controlled.

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    Writer, thinker, deep ecologist, social commentator, activist, enjoys music, literature and good food.

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