London - June 6, 2014 - VW has joined Jaguar, Land Rover, BMW, and Mini in offering DAB radios as standard equipment in all new vehicles sold in the U.K.
Availability of DAB radios in cars is one of the "key targets" the UK Government is using in determining the ‘sunset'' date for FM radio there, according to the Telegraph. According to figures from market analysts CAP, 55 percent of new cars registered at the end of April this year have DAB radio. Just over a fifth of all radio listening takes place in cars, according to figures quoted by Digital Radio UK, the organization charged with promoting digital radio in the UK.
The Government''s plan, in 2009, was to shutdown analog transmitters all together by 2015. Now the Government is saying that it won''t commit to a shutdown date until 50 percent of all radio listening is done via digital radio sources. DRUK says that figure is currently about 36 percent.
The BBC and commercial broadcasters are working to expand the coverage area of DAB across the U.K. The BBC is adding 162 transmitters by the end of next year, and they''re spending £20 million to improve coverage of local stations, which use a separate network.