Ahead of the WorldDAB General Assembly, we speak to Roger Lanctot from Strategy Analytics on the future of in-car entertainment, whether there will always be a place for radio and the challenge of the autonomous car.
The final session at this year’s General Assembly looks at the role for digital radio in the connected or even autonomous vehicle.
“I actually think the future is quite bright for radio in the automated car,” says Lanctot. “But in an environment where you’ve taken the constraints off of radio and are no longer worried about (driver) distractions, then radio becomes a much more visual medium.”
Some broadcasters are already using Slideshow to deliver news, traffic and weather information alongside album covers and artist info, and Lanctot believes that the connected car provides an ideal home for this to evolve.
“Maybe that information is no longer constrained to the centre stack and is being displayed in other places in the car. So it’s important to think of radio very differently, not as irrelevant, just as very different and the content coming in as having a multimedia aspect.”
Radio remains one of the most sought after features by drivers, with a survey from Radioplayer earlier this year finding that 82% of drivers would not consider buying a car without a radio.
“There remains no substitute for the radio and free, localised content,” says Lanctot, talking about the challenge posed by smartphone applications or proprietary solutions. “In many respects we have Apple to thank for that as they refuse to integrate radio into any of their devices so radio has to stay in the car.”
Earlier this year WorldDAB set up the Automotive User Experience (UX) Group to focus on improving the user experience for in-car DAB radios and understanding the impact of future technology trends.
It’s a challenge described by Lanctot as “fairly universal,” particularly for those renting a car and trying to find their way around a new system and layout.
“The challenge is to locate where the radio is, how to get to the local radio broadcast, how to tune it etc…There’s not a lot you can do as car makers all want to spin it slightly differently. I don’t think that confusion goes away – that’s the new normal.”
Roger Lanctot will be moderating a panel debate in Session 5 of the WorldDAB General Assembly. Panelists include; Marco Carbone, Director, Radio Products, STMicroelectronics; Andreas Goršak, Senior Engineer, Broadcast Development, JVCKENWOOD; Mark Friend, Controller, BBC Radio & Music Multiplatform; Nick Piggott, Project Director, RadioDNS; and Ron Schiffelers, Senior Director Programme Management, BL Car Entertainment, NXP Semiconductors
To register for the WorldDAB General Assembly click here.