Will.i.am is on a mission to help people have the ultimate music experience while driving.

The musician and tech entrepreneur debuted his startup Sound Drive at CES 2024, according to TechCrunch. Will.i.am’s new startup works to create and remix tracks that are “conducted by the road” — disrupting how music experiences are curated.

“Right now, still today, in 2024, people make music as if they’re still playing CDs, as if the main source of listening to music is vinyl,” Will.i.am said, according to the outlet. “Beyoncé and Taylor Swift told the world that live music is where the business is, and the only way to actually listen to live music is to go to a concert.” 

It was also announced that Sound Drive is set to launch in the summer of 2024 in Mercedes-Benz’s electric EQ models. According to Mercedes-Benz CTO Markus Schäfer, Sound Drive is using nearly 10 segments within a car’s data channels. What’s more, Sound Drive will run as an app within the MBUX infotainment system and allow users to geotag samples, per TechCrunch.


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In addition, Sound Drive’s partnership with Mercedes-Benz has birthed MBUX Sound Drive, which will reportedly have 10 tracks that “will initially be found in higher-performance AMG and AMG-Line EQ models and will extend beyond those to other trims in the Mercedes range.”

While Will.i.am has yet to have a set date for when consumers will be able to test out Sound Drive in other car models, he shared that he hopes the technology will spark music evolution.

Sound Drive’s link-up with Mercedes-Benz comes after Will.i.am and the company’s previous collaborations.

As previously reported by AFROTECH in 2022, Will.i.am and Mercedes-Benz teamed up to provide underserved students with more access to science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM).

“I grew up in a ghetto. I grew up with hip hop. I watched legendary hip hop artist rap about Mercedes, so it was always a dream to own a Mercedes. For a lot of inner-city kids, owning a Mercedes is a symbol of progress and advancing out of struggle,” said Will.i.am in a statement at the time. “Now I’ve reached my goal and pushed even higher by re-imagining and creating my own vision of an AMG model. But I didn’t touch the engine, because AMG really does make the best engines. The story of the founders of AMG truly inspires me and it is energizing to collaborate with like-minded people who also seek continuous improvement.”