I recently attended the we.connect connected car conference in Berlin and ran five ‘café’ sessions. Delegates at the conference were separated into five groups and then rotated through each of the café sessions. It was an interesting way to have good engagement around radio and music in connected cars with a wide range of experts.
I focused the groups on thinking about the most important new opportunities for Radio and Music services in the connected car and how these should be delivered.
The groups suggested a wide range of interesting potential developments. These won’t all feel new to you but it’s significant that they were coming from people deeply tied into the car sector.
There were a lot of ideas about making Radio easier to use in-car. Driver distraction is a major concern for manufacturers. For example, an integrated in-car media dash that brings FM/DAB and IP together into one menu, the ability to rewind/pause radio, automatic station following and cross-device synchronising so you can continue listening once you’ve left the car.
How about multi-track playout in the car separately for the driver, passenger and kids in the back? How about automatically adapting to different drivers? Car-aware radio that taps into telemetrics data to increase volume as you go faster or have the windows open? Karaoke anyone?
They were interested in geo-location for very local/relevant updates, better RDS-type and eCall services and hyperlocal channels and communities of interest. Predictive radio that knows about train/road delays on your route or can find you a parking space could be built in partnership with new businesses being developed in these areas.
Everybody agreed on the importance of personalised services which benefits many industries from insurance to in-car safety to radio and music services. Knowing what you want to listen to when you commute to work and how this differs to what you want when you commute home or what you want to listen to on a long journey with kids will make radio better. On top of that, build in your social media into the audio stream or mix in selected playlists from your music streaming service.
Connected cars will open up a whole world of new possibilities for radio and music services. Exciting times ahead.