Bentley isn’t happy making just cars anymore. Apparently, it wants to make music now, too. The luxury carmaker is working with a tech company, LifeScore, to make new music for every single one of your drives by using artificial intelligence and vehicle input.
The system Bentley and Lifescore have developed will run all the data that your car collects, like your engine speed and throttle input, through its artificial intelligence to spit out groovy tunes, as Bentley describes:
Bentley and LifeScore are working together creating algorithms that allow vehicle inputs (such as engine RPM and acceleration) to influence the composition in real time, constantly adapting depending on the driving situation. This true driver-vehicle-music synchronisation is an industry first.
Every journey results in a real time user experience that is deeply personalised. The signals from the vehicle create a unique sonic soundscape that responds to how and where the vehicle is being driven and under what conditions. Rather than listening to music to distract from travel, the vehicle is now able to compose an instrumental soundtrack to engage with the journey.
The AI draws on a vast collection of music that Bentley and Lifescore want us to know was recorded at Abbey Road Studios. So, move over, The Beatles (and Radiohead, Kanye and Pink Floyd,) because Bentley has made you obsolete.
The AI system uses its sizable music and audio data stores to make you your very own soundtrack, per Bentley:
From a sound bank library containing a comprehensive suite of audio data and recordings, more than 100 billion unique music tracks can be composed for a 60 minute drive – more than the number of stars in the galaxy.
Now, you might be wondering if that’s a bit dishonest, because that audio data is all prerecorded, too; never mind that, dammit. It’s what the system does together with the vehicle input that makes it special, according to the carmaker:
The composers and musicians create building blocks (cells) of raw musical material, which the vehicle then selects, combines, layers and sequences together to produce the final music in real time. The result is endless varying renditions that can be unique on every listen for long durations without sounding repetitive or synthetic.
Bentley claims this system is an industry first, and I’m not going to dispute that it isn’t, but similar stuff has been around for decades. Hell, you can download an app right now on your iPhone from Brian Eno called Reflection, that does something similar. That Eno app falls under the category of generative music.
Sure, that genre lacks the vehicle input and data that makes Bentley’s spiffy system adaptive, but that seems more like an outgrowth. Bentley’s approach just takes input and/or cues and applies both in a certain way to get new results. It’s cool, but not as groundbreaking as the carmaker claims.
The Lifescore and Bentley music machine’s development is reportedly going to debut in the carmaker’s first BEV. I suppose the idea is that what people really need to finally embrace electric cars is their very own generic soundtrack.