Automakers shifting towards digital radio tech and transforming bikes

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As the world shifts from analog to digital radio technology, automakers are steadily shifting gears towards equipping cars and bikes with the latest technology around music, live traffic data, seamless transmission, wireless charging, and emergency alerts, among other features.

According to Ashruf El Dinary, SVP, Digital Platform at US-based Xperi Corporations, the shift from analog to HD Radio — the most successfully deployed commercial digital radio system worldwide — has been an outstanding experience among the drivers the world over.

“The HD Radio system leverages ‘whitespace’ between allotted transmission frequencies to transmit additional audio channels and programming on the same broadcast infrastructure and antenna system. HD Radio broadcasting allows broadcasters to compete with the pure-play digital platforms and meet consumer expectations for a media-rich experience,” Ashruf told IANS.

Globally, HD Radio is working with Jeep, Ford, Toyota, Chevrolet, KIA, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Volvo, and Volkswagen.

The 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric also offers free HD Radio traffic data.

Kona Electric has sports tech features including an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system; a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster; a six-speaker audio system with HD Radio provides live traffic data, seamless transmission, emergency alert, song artist information with all the details that a drive sees on the touch-screen display.

In September this year, the company partnered with BMW Motorrad, where HD Radio has successfully deployed an HD Radio receiver on the 10.25-inch digital dash display of the new 2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental bike – a first for the company.

“BMW Motorrad continues to be ahead of the innovation curve when it comes to the consumer experience and making sure their motorbike owners have the listening experiences they want,” Jeff Jury, Xperi SVP and general manager, Connected Car, had said in a statement.

The base model of the BMW bike is priced at nearly $25,000.

HD Radio technology is currently available from more than 40 manufacturers across 200 passenger vehicle models in more than 75 million vehicles. It also supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

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