Google Gets Deeper into the Connected Car. Watch Out, Radio.

First, there was Apple’s CarPlay, a software move into the dashboard of your car.  Now Google has Android Auto, which is their connected car gambit. Taken together, these two new infotainment platforms could (should?) revolutionize the way we ingest entertainment and information as we drive.  Here’s what Google’s system offers.

(I should point out that Google and Apple are trying to help us control our entire lives from our smartphones.  The connected car is just one part of a larger goal.)

Radio consultant Mark Ramsey takes a closer look at what all this new onboard technology will mean for traditional radio.  And I’m afraid it’s not good:  “Today’s auto entertainment platform is about to be replaced or made obsolete by the entertainment platform connected directly to your mobile phone…If you are using Android Auto or CarPlay, can you be listening to terrestrial radio via FM or AM at the same time?

I doubt it very much. It will probably be either one or the other. Just as you can’t listen to a CD and FM at the same time today.”

Uh-oh.  This is the kind of thing I’ve been predicting for the past couple of years.  AM and FM may be screwed.  However, radio content is still very, very, VERY important.  It’s about the delivery of that content.  Forget amplitude and frequency modulation; the future is in Internet availability.

Ramsey outlines eleven points about the impending arrival of the fully connected car.  If you love terrestrial radio (or, more importantly, if you’re in the business), you need to read his article.  Ignore technology at your peril.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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