AMG has teamed up with former Black Eyed Pea,, to create Mercedes MBUX SOUND DRIVE – one of multiple new systems unveiled at CES 2024.

Driving and music go hand in hand. The perfect soundtrack can enhance an adventurous road trip with friends, or get you pumped up to push your car to eleven tenths on a back road. So, a completely logical next step in the car audio industry would be to directly interlink the two through software. And that’s exactly what Mercedes-AMG has tried to achieve.

So, what exactly does Mercedes MBUX SOUND DRIVE entail? Well, in simple terms, the software keeps track of driver inputs (specifically; ‘recuperation’, acceleration, steering, and braking) and feeds these inputs back through the sound system as musical expressions. Mercedes likens the process to turning the car into a musical instrument, however it appears as though the tech is designed to manipulate existing music files rather than create its own like some sort of synthesizer on wheels. presenting MBUX SOUND DRIVE

“Imagine a world where your car can become an instrument creating musical journeys,” says “Mercedes MBUX SOUND DRIVE enhances driving and sound technology, letting motorists reshape music just by driving. I’m excited to see how composers, producers, and songwriters will harness this to create new works and reimagine classics for motorists to drive to. MBUX SOUND DRIVE is not only a new frontier for music creation, but also opens up fresh, exciting and interactive listening experiences for drivers.”

Mercedes MBUX SOUND DRIVE is set to roll out in new models from mid-2024, so we won’t have long to wait to see how it works in reality.

Audible powered by Dolby Atmos

Audible & Amazon Music

While we’re here, we might as well talk about the other fresh ideas that Mercedes has brought to this year’s edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Sticking with the audio theme, Mercedes has announced a collaboration with Audible and Amazon Music which will see drivers of their cars be able to enjoy stories and music through high-quality Dolby Atmos production. This system will make use of surround sound technology to create an utterly immersive in-car experience.

MBUX Virtual Assistant

Virtual AI assistant

AI is set to be the buzzword of 2024, and naturally that means that car companies are taking steps to introduce it into their vehicles. Volkswagen has already announced that a version of ChatGPT will be available in the updated Golf. Mercedes’ approach is slightly different. Running on its in-house MB.OS operating system, the MBUX Virtual Assistant has been designed to feel more ‘human-like’.

The MBUX Virtual Assistant is visually represented through a face and ‘living’ star emblem on the car’s touchscreen, which has four different ‘moods’. Mercedes hopes that this newfound personality will bring “more trust and empathy to the relationship between car and driver,” which is a trend we’re seeing more of in recent times. A good example of this is Mini’s new AI personal assistant dog.

The four moods are; Natural, Predictive, Personal, and Empathetic. These each relate to the functionality of the AI in specific ways. Natural allows you to talk to the AI without using the ‘Hey Mercedes’ prompt and Predictive will proactively make suggestions for your journey. Personal is a way for the driver to tailor the AI’s traits to their own liking, while Empathetic refers to its more emotive speaking styles. The primary purpose of the AI is navigation and app usage.

Mercedes MBUX gaming

In-car video games & apps

That ‘living’ Mercedes star emblem which represents the MBUX AI is powered by video game engine, Unity, as is the GPS interface. As such, Mercedes has made further use of this connection by adding video games into its onboard entertainment roster. This will include cloud-based retro gaming titles from Antstream Arcade, and is set to be available shortly after launch. Admittedly, it does seem quite limited at the moment, compared to BMW’s AirConsole partnership.

The fun doesn’t stop with games though. Sony’s RIDEVU streaming service is also built-in, and there are plenty of other compatible apps available, ranging from to Just Eat. You’ll even be able to attend work meetings on Zoom, WebEx, or Microsoft Teams. And, if you’re the sort of person who collects NFTs, you can use them to decorate the Mercedes MBUX interface.

All in all, Mercedes’ new in-car personality looks capable of going toe-to-toe with that of BMW’s much-awaited ‘Neue Klasse‘.