Lexus, Toyota integrating traffic, weather via HD Radio, cellular


HD RadioHD Radio technology and Clear Channel’s Total Traffic Network will be providing subscription-free real-time traffic and weather info via digital FM broadcasting for Lexus and Toyota owners. iBiquity Digital says the all-new Lexus IS, which will debut next week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, will be the first vehicle using the new service when it arrives in dealerships this summer; Toyota vehicles with the service will launch later this year.

Lexus and Toyota will launch two systems integrating HD Radio digital audio entertainment and TTN’s real-time traffic and weather info: For vehicles with navigation systems, Lexus and Toyota will provide a digital audio and navigation system driven by the first of its kind hybrid technology capable of receiving digital traffic and weather information from both HD Radio stations and the cell phone network, using the driver’s smartphone connected with the Lexus Enform and Toyota Entune systems.

For vehicles without navigation, Lexus and Toyota will offer a premium display audio system complete with free traffic maps and weather info, all delivered by HD Radio stations across the country.

“At Lexus and Toyota we strive for partnerships that bring the most advanced connected vehicle technologies to our customers at a great value,” said Sandy Lobenstein, Corporate Manager, Product Planning at Toyota Motor Sales.  “As a result of our partnership with iBiquity, our owners will be the first in the industry to have access to subscription-free real-time traffic and weather data on multimedia systems across our vehicle lineup.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Like we’ve just reported up in Canada, stations are starting to see more HD Radio monetization potential not in new formats, but the data stream that’s included. The HD network is monetized by advertising and it’s a lot faster than waiting for traffic on the 8’s—if your market even offers it. It’s also nice to see the integration of HD data with smartphone connections. This means it will be a premium, reliable system virtually nationwide.