Last week in Munich, WorldDAB brought together over 150 representatives from the automotive and broadcast sectors to discuss the present and future of in-car digital radio.
There was a real sense of excitement and energy at the event – not just in the conference sessions but, just as importantly, in the exhibition and networking spaces. The latest German marketing campaign talks about DAB offering ‘more radio’ and this message is clearly getting through to both listeners and automotive manufacturers.
Across the day, three key themes emerged:
DAB+ is the core future platform for radio in a growing number of countries and keynote speakers talked about a shared vision for radio across Europe.
Norway will complete its digital switchover (DSO) at the end of this year, the Italian region of South Tyrol has switched some services from FM to DAB and Switzerland will start its own DSO from 2020. The impact of these will be felt across the continent and our message to the automotive industry was that it’s more important than ever to fully embrace DAB radio to deliver the best experience for drivers across the continent.
This will require close collaboration between the broadcast and automotive industries, something we’ve already seen in the WorldDAB User Experience Group, where broadcasters and automotive OEMs are working together to better understand drivers’ experience of digital radio. The next phase of this work will be using the research to produce a set of UX guidelines, due to published later this year.
Collaboration is also something we saw with the announcement from Audi and RadioDNS that new A8 will feature hybrid digital radio. The A8 will be officially launched on July the 11th when more details will be released.
Drivers love radio in the car and they also love digital radio. To continue the excellent progress made in the last year we need to work together to ensure digital radio is available in cars across Europe and that the experience for drivers is the best it can be.
The presentations from the event are now available online for those who missed out – with a selection of photos here to download and view. To find out more about the automotive work of WorldDAB and the User Experience Group, contact the Project Office.