Radioplayer Launches Voice-Controlled Hybrid Radio for Cars

After-market device consists of a small box, professionally fit behind the dashboard, which links to the driver’s existing car radio
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A connected car radio has been launched in the UK by Radioplayer, the not-for-profit collaboration between the BBC and commercial radio. With a long-term aim to share learnings with auto manufacturers, Radioplayer Car is an aftermarket-installed device to existing car dashboards, and offers FM, DAB and IP in one unit.

The radio is voice-controlled, allowing a driver to change channels by simply saying �Radioplayer� and then the name of the intended station. The voice control has been carefully built by Radioplayer, allowing listeners to use familiar names for stations and giving a result that is aware of a listener�s location.

Radioplayer Car automatically switches platform, to keep drivers listening via what a press-release calls �the best method possible�. A listener might hear their favorite station over FM or DAB, but as they drive away from the transmission coverage area, it might automatically switch to streaming.

In the UK, over 80% of new cars come with DAB pre-installed: but the average lifespan of a car is over ten years, and the majority of cars on the road do not have it installed. A variety of aftermarket solutions have been produced to allow listeners to add DAB to a car they already own: though many have meant unsightly wiring and additional dashboard controls.

Radioplayer Car consists of a small box, professionally fit behind the dashboard, which links to the driver�s existing car radio. It connects wirelessly to the driver�s smartphone, held in a supplied mount; and to an additional antenna for DAB radio, normally mounted on a window. A free app enables the driver to navigate between stations, access traffic information, and listen to messages. Both the box and the app are upgradeable, allowing for further software enhancements.

In a press release, Michael Hill, Managing Director of Radioplayer said: �With Radioplayer Car you get the best of both worlds � a powerful multiplatform radio with hundreds of free-to-air channels, that�s safe and simple to operate. It shows what�s possible when the radio industry works together, and we look forward to sharing what we�ve learned with manufacturers, so that all radios can improve.�

The Radioplayer Car product has been over two years in development, with a number of firms involved including DTS-owned All In Media. It uses data from the Radioplayer platform. While this product is UK-only for now, the Radioplayer platform is also licensed by Radioplayer Worldwide for use in many other countries.

A launch video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rneq_Ns9ADA and a technical demo can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upAgNEDU3hY.

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