Nobody’s doubting rapper will.i.am’s legacy in the music business, but his track record designing cars and working with automakers has yielded some… interesting results. Mercedes-Benz hopes to lean more on the music credentials with its will.i.am partnership, as it has recruited the musician to redesign the electric vehicle sound experience.
At a CES press conference, the rapper said Mercedes is his favorite car brand and noted that he wanted to create an EV sound experience “that does more than just simulate a V8 engine.” His vision is to integrate various vehicle sensors, controls, and electronics to generate sounds, and said that the experience could be different depending on the route taken. The tech could also hide “Easter eggs” that play sounds based on specific locations.
In early tests, the songs played on a loop, getting louder and softer as the vehicle changed speeds. While it may seem like they’d get old, testers noted that the sounds changed depending on the Mercedes will start rolling the new sound experience out this year. Some models will get the tech for free, while others require a subscription fee. The automaker plans to open its platform to musicians around the world, allowing them to create tracks and sounds, so the “ecosystem” could expand way beyond will.i.am’s compositions.
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