More cars come with digital radio as standard

New figures announced by Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey today reveal that 58% of new cars registered in September came with digital radio as standard.

More than a fifth of radio listening happens in the car, but take up of in-car digital radio has been slow. Whilst digital radios are available for cars they are more expensive than portable radios in the home and office and sometimes require expert installation.

This September “there was a record 246,000 cars fitted with digital radio as standard – which is 58% of all new car registrations,” said the minister.

At the same time last year 167,000 new cars were fitted with digital radio as standard.

Many new super-minis and city cars still don’t come with digital radio as standard, but as manufacturers refresh and face-lift models smaller cars are receiving updated radios and media players. At this month’s Paris Motor Show it was announced that the Skoda Fabia would be fitted with digital radio as standard for the first time.

Ed Vaizey also addressed the ‘connected dashboard’, a reference to Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s MirrorLink technologies. These systems allow the centre console to display a simplified version of the phone’s operating system – controlling music players and satellite navigation applications.

A ‘Digital Dashboard summit’ will be held next year to examine how radio and audio in connected cars evolves.