Hybrid audio in dash of hybrid car


Pandora Media says Toyota is including Pandora Internet Radio in the dash of a third model, the new generation of the hybrid Prius, branded the Prius v. It joins the Camry and Tacoma as Toyota models coming with Internet radio in the dash alongside AM, FM and SiriusXM.

The Prius v is equipped with Entune, Toyota’s platform for in-car infotainment solutions. With Entune, Pandora controls are made available via the radio touchscreen. Pandora’s announcement says that allows drivers to easily select stations, skip songs, or give songs a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down using the vehicle’s existing controls. A smartphone is required to connect Pandora with Entune.

“We are delighted to have Pandora become part of the very popular Prius. The combination of these two forward-looking products paints an exciting picture of the future of the driving experience,” Executive Vice President of Business and Corporate Development Jessica Steel said.

In his discussion at the Wells Fargo Securities Technology, Media & Telecom Conference this week Pandora Media CFO Steve Cakebread noted that Pandora is able to detect when the streaming radio service is being used in a vehicle. In that case, the intention is to deliver more audio commercials, since the driver will not see on-screen ads.

RBR-TVBR observation: A hybrid car is a better listening environment than traditional gasoline/diesel-powered vehicles, since the car is so quiet when it is using the electric motor. We were taken aback the other day while walking in a parking lot to suddenly have a Prius silently beside us. Broadcasters had better be sure that their FM signal is as clean as possible to compete in the improving auto environment. Toyota’s Entune, we would note, includes HD Radio, so AM and FM stations utilizing the technology can be heard in digital quality in the new Prius v.