Radio danger signs abound in the car of the near future


Media system in a vehicleRadio makes its living primarily by catering to Americans driving to and from work, and for years, it has owned the in-vehicle news and entertainment space. But those days are likely to come to an end sooner rather than later, according to predictions from auto industry publication Total Car Score.

The pub put out a top ten list of technologies that it believes will be standard by 2020. Three of them should be of major concern to broadcast radio operators.

Comments are from Total Car Score Editor-In-Chief Karl Brauer.

* Media on Demand – “The concept of having access to Internet radio stations is novel in 2013, but the cars of 2020 will have on-demand access to every form of online news and entertainment. A potentially dangerous distraction to future drivers? Not if they don’t have to worry about driving.”

* Driverless Cars – “‘Drivers’ won’t always have to drive in 2020, because cars won’t require driver input to stay in their lanes, slow for traffic congestion or stop to avoid an accident. Much of this technology already exists and is being used by companies (like Google) to cut driver fatigue and reduce accidents.” RBR-TVBR notes that this opens up many different media options beyond listening to the radio.

* Social Goes Mobile – “Today’s latest in-car communication and social media features, such as texting or tweeting, will give way to reading and responding to email, participating in group calls and ‘attending’ online parties. Want to watch the NBA finals ‘with’ your friends as you commute home? You will.”

Other top ten technologies include:
* Super Fuel Efficiency
* Voice Control
* Self-Aware Cars
* In-Car Office
* Lightweight Materials
* Zero Maintenance
* Hybrid Technology

RBR-TVBR observation: If you are going to go into the next years without taking concrete steps to address the situation, you are braver than we, and that’s putting it the nice way.

Car drivers will have access to over-the-air radio. And anything on the internet. And social media. And in cases where the car is driving itself, video content.

Unless your station provides people with something they cannot get anywhere else, they will go anywhere else.

We’ve been saying that local and in-vehicle are radio’s turf and must be defended as staunchly as possible. We’d be spending a lot of time thinking about this — now.