Until then, car makers have a lot of time to get their act together and ready their cars to receive digital radio signals. Some are years ahead of others, with only one being at the head of the pack: Ford.
The American car maker announced that, by the end of 2012, all the models in its portfolio will be equipped with Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) technologies. The process of implementation has already begun, with the new Focus being among the first to get it this year. More models will follow.
“It is a looming issue, and we want to be well placed,” Ford of Great Britain Managing Director Nigel Sharp was quoted as saying by What Car?. “The fact is that the Focus's radio is future-proofed now, whereas those in our competitors' cars aren't.”
“The plan is to extend that across every Ford model in the next 18 months or so. There are technical issues to overcome because, for instance, traffic alerts are broadcast only in FM at the moment, but we are confident we can achieve our goal.”
The digital signal, unlike the analogue one in use today, is said to be more energy efficient, using less than 7 percent of the electricity needed to transmit it in FM.