HD Radio Sees Steady Rise in Auto Penetration
     

More than one in five cars rolling off car dealer lots today includes an HD Radio receiver.

So says iBiquity, which estimates that in 2012, more than two million HD Radio-equipped cars will be shipped, equal to over 20% of all automobiles shipped in the calendar year.

In its Radio TechCheck this week, NAB says nearly half of car models offering the technology today do so as standard equipment, with half of the models priced under $35,000.

We’ve reported that 28 different automotive brands now offer HD Radio. Nine of those offer the technology as part of an option package while 13 others provide HD as standard equipment on some of their vehicles. Six brands now include it as standard on all of their vehicles, according to iBiquity.

Bundling new technology elements into other products that have natural replacement cycles is one way of speeding technology to market. That seems to be happening with digital radio technology as consumers replace their vehicles faster than they would a standalone radio, according to the account. NAB says that’s what happened with RDS, which became mainstream when it was included in car radios.

Of course, now the “car radio” is being replaced by a large-screen “center console” infotainment center with GPS-based navigation, radio, audio, video, wireless phone integration, voice recognition and Internet connectivity through a connected smartphone.

In some of these systems, the HD Radio receiver is not just an audio source, but functions as a data delivery pipe for graphics, traffic, weather, QR codes along with fuel and stock prices.

 


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After all these years only 20%?! iBiquity and the HD stations are doing a poor job communicating the benefits of HD Radio to the consumer. I would _never_ buy a new car that lacked HD Radio, but I'm a techie and an audiophile; I appreciate both the superior audio quality of HD, and the extra content. I'm no fan of low quality Sirius XM either. Struble needs to hire some marketing people.
By Hank Farnum on 7/19/2012

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