Bentley composes its dynamics


Bentley has developed a demonstration vehicle that can compose a soundtrack based upon a driver’s inputs and driving style, creating a dynamic driving noise to replace the V8 soundtrack in Bentley’s first full battery electric vehicle.

The vehicle generates a live composition of instrumental music in real-time, adding to the emotion of the driving experience. The technology has been created in partnership with LifeScore, an industry expert in the field of ‘adaptive music’, with the goal of creating music that adapts to changing driving conditions and the driver’s style – from relaxed grand touring to energetic, spirited driving on twisty roads.

Bentley and LifeScore are working to create 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.

The signals generated by the vehicle as it travels 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.

How it works

LifeScore uses musicians, contemporary and classical instruments and technology for recording at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London. All of the audio elements are recorded in ambisonic audio (full sphere surround sound) using more than 50 microphones to provide for all possible future formats. In the cabin of the future, sound can be designed to come from any direction at the highest resolution. The technology combines human-composed and performed music, which can then be algorithmically reproduced on demand by the vehicle and delivered in the cabin.

From a sound bank library of audio data and recordings, more than 100 billion unique music tracks can be composed for a 60-minute drive. 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, says Bentley, is endless varying renditions that can be unique on every listen for long durations without sounding repetitive or synthetic.

LifeScore uses musicians, contemporary and classical instruments and technology for recording at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London

For example, when playing music in a Cocoon mode, as the vehicle is winding through town, the music builds and evolves slowly, and when cruising speed is achieved, the music is sustained and calming. When Enhanced driving mode is engaged, the music is more reactive and exciting, sensing transmission changes, acceleration and torque, resulting in a high-intensity audio experience. Using artificial intelligence, the software optimises the responses in creation of the music for the driver.

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About Author

Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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