Car manufacturer Audi will today announce all their new cars from next month will include DAB Digital Radio as standard.
Audi joins Ford, VW, Vauxhall BMW, Mini, Land Rover and Jaguar who have already committed to including the technology in their cars.
There is still no set date for a digital radio switchover, but the Government will make an announcement on the subject later this year. Experts believe the future of radio in the UK is multiplatform, with national and regionals brands on DAB whilst local and community radio will continue on FM.
BBC national DAB coverage is now over 94% and is being extended to 97%. National commercial DAB coverage is now increasing to 90% with a planned expansion into Northern Ireland later this year.
Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, says: “We see the announcement that Audi is installing digital radio as standard into new models from April as a major milestone in the UK new car market. Audi is a much beloved and respected brand in the UK, accounting for over 6% of the new car registrations every year, and now many more drivers will be able to enjoy the additional choice of stations and the digital sound quality of digital radio on the move.”
Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries, says: “Audi’s decision to fit digital radios is good news as drivers will be able to enjoy the full range of stations now available. More and more car manufacturers are making the switch to digital and by the end of the year the majority of new cars should have digital radio as standard.”
Audi sells over 120,000 new cars per year and will introduce a range of digital radio adapters to fit existing Audi models with an Audi fully integrated digital radio.
Director of Audi UK Martin Sander said: “Quite simply, digital radio improves the ownership experience for our customers, not only in terms of the enhanced clarity and strength of its signal, but also the breadth of station choice and the degree of detail in the information it provides. Our premium in-car audio systems, and especially our outstanding BOSE and Bang & Olufsen upgrades, richly deserve digital broadcast quality, and I am delighted that we can now offer it as standard in new models.”