Connected Cars

Connected Cars

How connected cars and convergence will transform in car radio


One industry which is about to be disrupted by technology is radio, particularly in-car radio, a platform which will radically change once connected cars force the convergence of radio as we know today with social and mobile functionality.

Many media analysts have identified that there are plenty of untapped opportunities for radio technology but when you look at the emergence of the likes of PandoraSpotify and iTunes radio to name but a few, and that most new cars will now be shipping as connected cars, one wonders how long radio stations have got before they have to innovate to survive.

A connected car will have similar functionality to your phone, so you'll have more options than ever for entertainment while you travel. This will potentially challenge a lot of existing radio stations’ advertising revenue models as they move to a setup similar to how online advertising currently works.

So if newspapers are a cautionary tale for how digital technology affected their ad model, then one wonders how long before radio stations take a proactive step to get ahead of the disruption that is coming.

While many of the online streaming services give fantastic curated playlists and integrate social, they are missing one vital ingredient, real human chatter and character.

Peugeot have invested in developing their own apps for connected cars

Peugeot have invested in developing their own apps for connected cars

People who listen to radio daily say that they build up a relationship with the radio presenters, they almost become the passengers in the car with them as they travel to work or provide company in the house while you go about your business.

Radio as we know it today still has a lot to offer, however the industry needs to look at moving their model to something that is more user centric rather than simply broadcasting before the likes of Spotify and iTunes do it for them by taking advantage of what the connected car will bring.

If you look at some of the core benefits that the likes of internet radio services, mobile apps and social networks provide for users and converged them with what we know as radio today, what might that sound like?

Here's a few ideas on what in-car radio in the future might sound like:

Create your own personal radio station based on your music integrated with input from a selected DJ of your choice.

Talk to the radio station and respond to music choices it gives you or enter competitions by simply talking to the station.

Catch up on shows and debates you missed or just want to hear again through radio's on demand service, similar to desktop player services.

Respond to ads that you hear through voice control, so you can ask the company more about the product they were advertising or even call them directly.

Radio's capacity to trigger debate and conversation still makes it the original social medium. Imagine how many more topics connected car technology will give you and your passengers to argue about – or agree upon - on the daily commute.

Sync your Spotify account with the radio station so they know your music preferences, when the time comes for a new song to be played it will be based on your tastes.

Share what you're listening to with other drivers through voice control or import other people’s recommended playlists to listen to while you drive.

Get instant social updates linked to show content so you can hear what other drivers think. Things like twitter will be voice read to you.