New research explores consumer experience of in-car digital radio

Thursday 22 June, 2017


New research, announced at the just concluded WorldDAB Automotive Event in Munich, has explored the in-car user experience of digital radio.

Carried out in Germany, The United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Belgium, the research asked 40 consumers about their experience of in-car digital radio.

Key findings include:

  • Drivers love digital radio and prefer the experience to FM radio
  • Drivers expect a great user interface which is easy to use
  • To search for stations, an A-Z station list offers the best user experience
  • Some digital radio terms are confusing for drivers   
  • Having a 'RADIO' button is the best way to access DAB/DAB+

This is the first research of its kind on the user experience of digital radio in the car. The automotive industry has been supporting this work through the WorldDAB UX Group and initial reaction to the research has been positive.

Respondents value the information digital radio is able to provide, with nearly all appreciating a station name and 'now playing' information on the dashboard.

Ronald Heuthe, Hardware Architect, Daimler said: "We always welcome any insight into how we can deliver the best possible experience for drivers. As a member of the WorldDAB User Experience Group, we will be working closely with the broadcast industry on how the results of this research can be applied in the future."

Phil Stuchfield, Technical Specialist for Broadcast Media and Reception at Jaguar Land Rover, said: "We are focused on enhancing the experience our customers have in our cars, so research and user trails are fundamental, as they help us develop and improve how drivers interact with their infotainment system. Working collaboratively with broadcasters and the wider automotive industry means we are all benefiting from a common goal of giving the customer a great radio experience, both today and in the future."

Laurence Harrison, Chairman of the WorldDAB User Experience Group and Market Development Director at Digital Radio UK, said: "People love digital radio in the car and there has been a significant growth in the number of cars sold with DAB as standard, up to 86% in the UK and 98% in Norway. This research will help the automotive and broadcast industries continue to create the best possible experience for drivers. The next step will be using this research to inform a set of guidelines and anyone who wants to get involved or find out more should contact WorldDAB."

The comprehensive study was carried out across four European markets, with a fifth to follow later in the year. Using different makes and models of car in each market, respondents were asked to carry out a series of tasks such as finding a particular station or setting a pre-set, and then providing feedback on how easy it was. Although the exact user interface changed depending on the trim level, keeping it simple and safe for the driver remain the key priorities for digital radio.

The results of the research are vital to inform the next step for the Automotive User Experience Group – development of a set of digital radio UX guidelines for both broadcasters and manufacturers. The guidelines will help and give clarity to both sides of the industry, ensuring the driver has the best experience with digital radio. The guidelines will be finalised later in the year.

Earlier at the event it was announced that over 4.6 million new cars with DAB sold in 2016 across eight key European markets and Australia.

With the theme of, "DAB+ in the dashboard: today, tomorrow and in the future," the event brought together the automotive and broadcast industries to focus on digital radio's place in the car today and in the future.

Country Germany
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