radio broadcasters think the dashboard is crowded now, just wait.
troll highlights CEA’s “Club the Trolls” campaign against patent
by Leslie Stimson
trends are combining to increase the importance of the “connected
car.” Everyone, it seems, has digital devices. Second, young people
don’t get as excited to drive and buy cars as in the past. And many
consumers say using Facebook is more critical than meeting people
factors are cited by Thilo Koslowski, an in-car electronics analyst
for research firm Gartner, which finds that infotainment remains a
hot topic for automakers. Forty-seven percent of consumers want to
use mobile apps while driving, according to the company, though 89
percent also say they’re concerned about distracted driving.
in numerous formats is part of infotainment in cars “connected”
to the digital world through embedded modems or smartphones.
Automakers are employing myriad technologies and user interfaces to
connect drivers and passengers to entertainment sources even more in
in another trend that will affect how consumers act behind the wheel,
car manufacturers are exploring “assisted” driving technology on
three levels: automated, autonomous and driverless. This too is a
reflection of connectivity.
of us will experience this in the future,” Koslowski says. Gartner
predicts premium car brands will have such capabilities in 2014,
volume brands in 2016 and all vehicles by 2020. The research firm
says that theoretically, automated vehicles could start taking over
for city drivers by 2025.
are automakers, receiver manufacturers and wireless carriers chasing
the connected vehicle? To sell you stuff. As the radio industry
knows, Americans are a captive audience on their commute; U.S.
residents spend an average of 48 minutes a day in their vehicles.
Electronics President Tom Malone says companies like Roku, Slingbox
and Zulu are in your home now and want to get into your car. The
“enabler” is the hotspot in the vehicle.
are some of the developments at the recent International Consumer
Electronics Show of interest to radio managers and engineers. Our
coverage gives a flavor of how consumer electronics and car companies
are approaching the question of audio entertainment, and
infotainment, in the vehicle. Also see page 3; and news about
NextRadio will appear next.
Updates TuneIt Smartphone App
customers most want in an aftermarket radio are connectivity and
phone apps, Alpine Electronics tells RW.
2.0, the next version of Alpine’s sound tuning app for smartphones,
includes compatibility with more Alpine source units. Alpine also
plans to release what the manufacturer says is the aftermarket’s
first 9-inch navigation system.
debuted in 2013; it’s a sound tuning app that also offers Facebook
notifications. Users download the free app onto their iPhone or
Android smartphone and create a user profile with information about
themselves, their vehicle and their Alpine sound system. They can
follow the instructions to adjust sound settings (like Time
Correction, Parametric EQ and Crossover) for their specific vehicle,
or choose from the pre-made settings in the database.
are notified of incoming activity on their Facebook wall through an
audible alert and a blinking blue button on the receiver. If the
driver chooses to accept the notification, TuneIt 2.0 will read the
message back via text-to-speech.
TuneIt, the user can mix media sources; the application works in the
car like an app does on a phone, Alpine tells RW, giving the driver
the ability to make shortcuts to get to AM/FM, Facebook or the phone,
new receivers are compatible with the updated TuneIt app: the
CDE-154BT and CDE-153BT advanced Bluetooth CD receivers and UTE-152BT
advanced Bluetooth digital media receiver.
Connected. Drive Connected”
will introduce 56 new products this year. Of those, 19 support HD
Radio, 30 support satellite radio and 31 support iHeartRadio.
company’s marketing slogan for new aftermarket receivers is “Live
Connected. Drive Connected,” according to Scott Caswell, Kenwood
USA senior marketing manager.
is a popular feature; consumers really want it so they can stream
audio in the car, he tells RW.
aftermarket radio manufacturer has updated its flagship infotainment
receiver, introduced last year. A new feature of the DNN991HD is a
touchscreen for smoother operation and better graphics. The unit,
which comes out in March, also includes WiFi capability.
connection capabilities for iPhone and Android smartphones make it
possible through what the manufacturer calls “AppMode” to access
iTunes, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Garmin, HD Radio and Kenwood’s Route
Collector, in addition to accessing apps on the user’s smartphone.
Connects Receivers to the Cloud
is rolling out a user interface that controls a combination of
features with connected services. Five receivers will be featured in
the Networked Entertainment Experience, or NEX series.
want to connect their phones to their cars; so the five NEX models
(four navigation and one audio video receiver) are designed to
accommodate smartphone use. Along with NEX connectivity and the
enhanced user interface, the models feature a large touchscreen
display. The flagship AVIC-8000NEX and the AVIC-7000NEX feature
the most significant feature is AppRadio Mode, which allows Android
and iPhone users to access and control apps from the touchscreen
display when connected to a smartphone.
USA is all about updated car infotainment with its slogan: “Live
Connected. Drive Connected.”
next generation of network connected in-dash receivers bridges the
gap between smartphone-tethered products like AppRadio and
traditional multimedia products like navigation and DVD receivers,
according to Ted Cardenas, vice president of marketing for the Car
Electronics Division of Pioneer Electronics USA. “By leveraging the
connectivity of the smartphone, we are able to augment and update
many of the built-in features with dynamic cloud-based content.”
features include iDatalink Maestro support, which enables consumers
to retain many of the original features found or tied with the stock
radio; Bluetooth; and HD Radio technology including Artist
Experience. The receivers are SiriusXM-ready with a separate tuner.
receivers allow users to create Pandora radio stations on connected
smartphones and control Harman’s Aha Radio’s smartphone app. The
receivers will be available in Q1.
Supports In-Vehicle Infotainment Standard
says its integration with new parent Ford is going well, giving the
software developer access to more technical expertise and funding
than if it had remained on its own.
became a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company in 2013, as we
Livio says the company will support SmartDeviceLink as the industry
standard for in-vehicle infotainment and offer software code and
support for suppliers, OEM partners and app developers in 2014.
contributed the AppLink in-vehicle connectivity platform to the
open-source SmartDeviceLink project in 2013 so automakers, suppliers
and developers can create compatible infotainment systems.
founder and CEO Jake Sigal says it’s time for such a standard.
“Livio is helping apps get safely into cars, increasing quality and
reducing costs for app developers and automotive suppliers.”
demonstrated its Livio Connect technology with partners DENSO, KPIT
Technologies, Humax Automotive and Pioneer Electronics. Other
hardware partners include Visteon and Voxx Electronics Corp.
AT&T Offer 4G LTE
and AT&T are offering U.S. Audi drivers an in-vehicle 4G LTE data
connection with the introduction of the 2015 A3 line this year.
of America President Scott Keogh calls the 4G LTE connection “the
fastest in-vehicle connection available” and says that will
“significantly enhance the infotainment experience.” The A3
family will feature updated Audi Connect including navigation,
“read-aloud” news headlines, Facebook and Twitter alerts; access
to 7,000 Web radio stations and personalized RSS news feeds.
high-speed connectivity will provide faster downloads and
high-definition video streaming for up to eight devices used by
passengers over the in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot, according to the
automaker will offer a Mobile Share data plan option to AT&T
wireless customers who would like to add their vehicle to their
existing smartphone or tablet data plan.
Dave Wilson received a plaque to honor his 20 years of working as a
staff liaison to the NRSC.
the advanced connectivity capability will go beyond the A3 as Audi
plans to roll it out across its vehicle lineup as new or refreshed
models come to market.
Connectivity “As Easy as FM”
technology “isn’t about offering a thousand apps; it’s about
giving you precisely what you need, before you even knew you needed
it,” says David Holecek, connectivity brand manager at Volvo Cars.
what Volvo intends to do this May when the automaker plans to roll
out its updated Sensus Connect infotainment and navigation system,
built on Ericsson’s Connected Vehicle Cloud. The onboard experience
will combine connected services, infotainment, navigation and audio.
will be able to stream Pandora Internet audio via a data connection
provided by the built-in modem or a smartphone. Drivers can control
Pandora using their head unit, “making access to personalized radio
in the car is as easy as FM radio,” according to the automaker.
TuneIn and Stitcher Internet audio services are also compatible with
other features, the new in-car experience will give drivers the
ability to enter a car that is preheated or precooled via
remote-start functionality from a smartphone.
is no point in filling a car with technology if it comes off as
overwhelming, so our main focus is always to give our customers the
best experience available and make it easy to digest,” says
Holecek. Sensus “allows drivers to turn the entire car into a Wi-Fi
hotspot for all of their connected devices,” he adds.
Delivers SiriusXM Over Internet Radios
integrated SiriusXM into its Internet radio receivers to
give subscribers access to satellite radio programming. Subscribers
can to listen to SiriusXM on the Evoke F4, One
Flow and Sensia 200D Connect.
is a U.K.-based company that formed 10 years ago and opened a West
Coast sales office for the U.S. last year. Now Pure sells broadcast
and Internet receivers as well as wireless audio systems in Europe,
Australia and North America.
company plans to add SiriusXM content to other Pure platforms during
GM Team Up on App
says it has developed a dedicated NPR-branded news app for General
automaker will offer the Chevrolet and Opal in its in-car AppShop,
available this summer in certain Chevrolets with MyLink technology.
In Europe the New News app will be available to drivers of the Opel
NPR News app is the first app dedicated to news that Chevrolet plans
to offer, according to the broadcaster and automaker. Drivers will be
able to download the app by accessing the AppShop through an
dedicated app for General Motors is the latest step in
NPR’s effort to make content accessible for audiences across
multiple platforms. The NPR News app is already compatible with
Ford’s SYNC AppLink system, and NPR content is being integrated
into in-car systems by Aha Radio, CloudCar, Livio Radio and
Rolls Out Auto Ads
has launched in-car advertising. National brands include BP, Ford
Motor Co., State Farm and Taco Bell. The 15- and 30-second ads will
run across the 130 vehicle models that integrate Pandora and more
than 270 aftermarket automotive devices.
says it will deliver fewer audio ads to cars than on its other
platforms. The Pandora One subscription premium accounts will remain
Internet audio service can connect advertisers “with a more
targeted audience than traditional radio can provide,” according to
Chief Marketing Officer Simon Fleming-Wood. The company claims an 8.6
percent share of total U.S. radio listening; some broadcast radio
executives have disputed the number.
Trolls Gain FTC Attention
Brill, a commissioner with the Federal Trade Commission, says
so-called “patent trolls” threatened more than 100,000 companies
in 2012 alone. “Trivial” patent infringement lawsuits can
undermine competition and deter innovation, she says.
why the FTC has proposed patent reforms.
is considering several bills aimed at so-called “patent assertion
entities” who sue companies to get “unjustifiable settlements,”
according the regulator. Bills being considered by lawmakers would
require plaintiffs to be more transparent and spell out more clearly
what technology patents are allegedly being violated.
issue is of interest to radio, with stations facing patent lawsuits
from companies over the use of HD Radio technology and music
automation and storage technology, as we’ve reported.
the FTC is still studying the patent reform issue, Congress shouldn’t
wait on the FTC but should act with “deliberate speed,” Brill
National Radio Systems Committee has honored three members who are
making career transitions: Robert Briskman, Mike Starling and Dave
Briskman is retiring from SiriusXM. He was a co-founder and technical
executive for the company originally called Satellite CD Radio,
established in 1990.
Starling, vice president at the network and executive director of NPR
Labs, retired from the broadcaster in January, as we’ve reported.
Wilson spent a total of 20 years as a staff manager of the NRSC,
first while working at NAB, and then for CEA. Wilson moves on to new
duties at CEA and Mike Bergman, formerly of Kenwood USA, has stepped
into that role.
Starling and Wilson were honored in January for their years of NRSC
participation and contributions to industry debates on important
technical topics as well as to recommended best practices and
standards, according to NRSC Chair Milford Smith.
we, the NRSC membership, debate and eventually come to consensus
agreement on issues,” its CEA’s Dave Wilson and NAB’s David
Layer “who transform those deliberations into cogent documents,
recommended practices, minutes and standards. They are the engine
that drives the NRSC,” Smith tells Radio World.