21.02.2012 11:24
Toyota Launches Traffic over DAB Radio

Last week Toyota announced to be the first car manufacturer in the UK to provide TPEG traffic information service using DAB technology (digital radio). The service is provided by INRIX (formerly known as ITIS)

DAB is five time faster than its analogue counterpart, RDS TMC that use the FM radio channel. This increased speed allows a faster distribution of more detailed traffic information. The system is one feature of the new Toyota Touch Pro Multimedia system, which makes its debut as a standard feature of the 2012 Land Cruiser V8 and that will be optional with the 2012 Prius T Spirit.

The Toyota Touch Pro multimedia system is centred around an 8" touch screen and features satellite navigation with 3D-view landmarks and lane guidance, smartphone integration, and Google Local Search. This announcement demonstrates that broadcast technology still remain an interesting option for car manufacturers when it comes to distributing traffic information.

The recent regain of interest in DAB in Germany and France is another signal. In a time when car makers are still struggling to find a viable business model for the “cellular-connected car“, DAB is coming up as a more affordable channel. If traffic over DAB becomes a reality in France and Germany as it is in the UK, then it would give an edge to local providers tied to broadcast channels against their pan-European competitors having the data but no broadcast “pipe“.

The “connected car“ is increasingly looking like an heterogeneous system in terms of connectivity. In this Toyota example the traffic is distributed via DAB, but the car can also use the bandwidth of the driver's smartphone to query a local search for the on-board navigation system.

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