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More Cars, Advanced Features for HD Radio

Toyota, Lexus, Mitsubishi using HD Radio-delivered traffic data

IBiquity Digital expects the growth it had in the auto world in 2012 to grow in 2013.

The tech developer says more automakers are including HD Radio receivers as standard in more of their product lines, including receivers with advanced data features.

Now 29 automotive brands offer or have announced plans to offer HD Radio audio, traffic or data features. Many OEMs, including Toyota, Lexus and Mitsubishi, plan to use the digital broadcasts to receive traffic and data information as well. 

The initial rollout of HD Radio Technology with its original features — digital sound quality, HD2/HD3 channels, and Program Service Data — is now established, and several automakers are now focused on launching HD Radio Advanced Features like iTunes Tagging, Artist Experience and digital traffic and data. Some 20 automotive brands have launched or will offer iTunes Tagging in upcoming months.

VW, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and BMW are the first to offer Artist Experience, in which the audio is paired with visual elements, and additional automakers, including Lexus and Toyota, have radios in development with plans to offer the feature in the coming months, according to iBiquity.

Toyota, Lexus and Mitsubishi became the first automakers to announce the integration of HD Radio Technology to receive both audio and digital traffic services.

Two service providers, Clear Channel and Nokia, have built nationwide networks to broadcast real-time traffic and data information using the HD Radio system. Nokia has partnered with a group of radio station companies called the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium, while Clear Channel uses its own radio stations to support their Total Traffic Network.

Five 2013 vehicles in iBiquity’s booth here at International CES (9033 Central Hall) feature factory-installed HD Radio receivers with advanced capabilities, including a Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Fusion, Toyota Yaris, Dodge Ram Pick Up and Hyundai Santa Fe. In an interview in the technology developer’s booth here in Las Vegas, iBiquity’s President/CEO Bob Struble singled out the Traverse as being especially notable, a high-volume-selling vehicle from one of the so-called Big Three” automakers that features Artist Experience.