Thursday, 24 June 2021 11:09

Commercial Radio Australia joins Android Automotive push


Industry body Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) has joined a working group of broadcasters, carmakers and tech experts collaborating on the innovation of radio in Android Automotive.

Android Automotive is Google's infotainment operating system for cars. Its user interface is designed for car screens, and uses Google Assistant to control a range of functions, including the selection of radio stations.

The working group, led by the US's National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), is investigating how a combination of broadcast radio, internet and voice technology can optimise the in-car radio experience.

CRA joined the NAB initiative after working to make 400 Australian radio stations available via voice command on Google Nest speakers and displays.

Carmakers including Ford and Volvo have announced plans to adopt Android Automotive, and ABI Research has forecast that 36 million new vehicles will be shipped with Android infotainment systems in 2030.

"The connected car will transform the in-car entertainment experience, and Australian broadcasters are pleased to be part of this exciting global working group providing input on how to deliver the best radio experience possible," said CRA CEO Joan Warner.

"Eighty-four percent of Australians listen to radio in the car, so it's vital that radio remains prominent and listeners can find their favourite stations easily," she added.

"This is a dynamic space and broadcasters need to participate in global efforts and work with car manufacturers to ensure radio is in the new car app ecosystems as connected cars roll out."

Other participants in the NAB initiative include the BBC, Bauer Media, iHeartMedia, New York Public Radio, vehicle makers Ford and Volkswagen/Audi, and tech developer Xperi.

Unlike Android Auto, which is a mechanism for linking Android phones to infotainment systems, Android Automotive is an operating system that runs on the in-vehicle hardware and supports apps built for Android as well as Android Auto.

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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