While the iconic but troubled Detroit Auto Show has stolen the headlines of the automotive world as of late, there is another show happening at almost the same time that's worth noting: the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This year's show will see the debut of real-time traffic technology for HD Radio.
"The radio industry set a precedent by coming together in 2005 to accelerate the adoption of HD Radio technology and the rollout of real-time traffic service over HD Radio broadcasts has been a collaborative effort among radio broadcasters and PND software suppliers," said Joe D'Angelo, Vice President of Advanced Services for iBiquity Digital Corporation, the creator of HD Radio. "HD Radio technology is now at the size, power, form factor and functionality that can deliver on the promise of digital radio as a base for PNDs (Personal Navigation Devices) and navigation platforms. 2008 was the year of development for this service and this year is all about the commercialization."
Today, the only way to get real-time traffic updates in your car is to use either the radio data systems-traffic message channel or a satellite-based service like satellite radio. iBiquity promises that the new real-time traffic service on HD Radio will provide a "significant" improvement in details about speed and road conditions. Along with traffic updates, the updated HD Radio technology will also provide concierge services, such as gas station prices, movie listings, sports scores, stock quotes, school closings, and emergency alerts. To date, there are two services signed up to broadcast real-time traffic information on HD Radio; Clear Channel and the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium in conjunction with NAVTEQ.
At CES, iBiquity will debut five prototype HD Radio receivers showcasing the range of applications it can be adapted to. They will include a dual-branded PND touch screen with HD Radio receiver built into the platform, a PND cigarette lighter adapter using HD Radio technology, a PND with HD Radio receiver in a cradle, a Visteon advanced OEM head unit with external navigation (to be debuted at Visteon's booth, not iBiquity's), a NAVTEQ Development Platform that displays traffic and concierge services including gas prices, weather information and advertising data and iBiquity's Advanced Development Platform.
The new technology will be debuted at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show runs from January 8 to January 11.