Commercial radio takes the automotive industry for a digital drive

18 June 2010

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Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) will host a group of leading automotive industry executives in Sydney and Melbourne, taking them for a test drive around both cities to experience DAB+ digital radio as part of an automotive industry digital radio workshop.

Key executives from leading car manufacturers will participate in the workshops that will provide; an update on DAB+ digital radio internationally, detail of the signal coverage in the five state capitals, plans for the regional rollout, a session on automotive receivers and getting the best installation for mobile reception, and information on the enhanced traffic and travel services possible with DAB+.

“Getting DAB+ digital radio into cars is a priority and we want to work closely with the automotive sector to provide them with the most up-to-date information and understand their requirements,” said Joan Warner chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia.

While the majority of radio listening is still in the home (49%), in car listening continues to grow each year with 2009 Nielson ratings figures showing 32% of radio listening occurs in cars.*

Representatives from Land Rover, Jaguar, Volvo, Subaru, Volkswagen, Audi, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Skoda, Chrysler, GM Holden and Ford will be attending the workshops.

“Digital radio is the future of radio in Australia and we are hosting the automotive workshop to engage with vehicle manufacturers and work closely with them on the integration of digital radio into cars and ensure the best possible reception,” said Ms Warner.

A vehicle equipped with the Pure Highway DAB+ in car adaptor will be used on a test drive to illustrate to the workshop delegates the quality of the DAB+ signal coverage and the increase choice in stations with digital radio.   A number of DAB+ antennas currently on the market will also be displayed.

Currently in car listening of DAB+ digital radio in Australia is available through the use of the Pure Highway in car adapter, the Bluestate aftermarket radio or by using a pocket DAB+ receiver. Further aftermarket devices are in development that could be installed into new cars and to cars already in the market.  
Sydney Workshop:  24 June 2010 – Commercial Radio Australia, Surry Hills 
Melbourne Workshop: 28 June 2010 – Swinburne University, Hawthorn

Media contact - Melissa Fleming - 0417 499 529

*Source: Nielsen radio ratings average of five capitals, place of listening, Mon-Sun 5.30 am – 12 midnight, Survey 1-8 2009.


The digital radio standards DAB, DAB+ and DMB digital radio are on-air in nearly 40 countries across Europe, Australia and Asia.  In Europe, where many leading overseas motor vehicle manufacturers are based, digital radio is available in one of the compatible standards of DAB, DAB+ or DMB.  More than 2 million cars are imported each year into France and last year the French government passed a law requiring all cars sold in France from 2013 must have a digital radio.

This has prompted chip manufacturers to develop a chip module that would enable a digital radio receiver in the car to pick up multiple standards which is essential when driving throughout Europe and would ultimately benefit Australia as it would include the DAB+ capability.