VW creates app that translates driving action into music

Volkswagen (VW) has created an app that fits a driver’s actions behind the wheel to music in real-time in an try and create the ideal driving soundtrack.


VW is trying to subvert the ‘traditional link’ between music and driving with the app.

The German car marque is using the “Play the Road’ app, developed by Tribal Worldwide London, to increase 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 motive force consisting of 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 knowledge.

The tool, so one can not be made publically available, is being promoted through a digital campaign where fans can win a big gamble to check 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 go into the draw. Seeded PR content from famous testers of the app comparable to Tottenham Hotspur footballer Sandro and Boardwalk Empire actor Stephen Graham can even support the campaign.

Mike Bennett, product manager for GTi at VW, says it’s hoping the experiment attracts younger potential owners by connecting “two classic elements of automotive advertising” in an experiential way.

He adds: “There’s a robust connection between driving and music but both are quite isolated from each other. Drivers aren’t connected to a track apart from the truth that it’s popping out in their radio. We’ve created something that responds to the way in which the auto is being driven in a singular way.

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