Digital radios are slowly becoming standard in Australian cars as Toyota includes a DAB+ digital radio in its Melbourne-built Camry Atara SL this year.
The Atara SL is now the cheapest car in the country to come stocked with a DAB+ digital radio as standard, fitted into a console that combines the radio with a 7 inch touchscreen, CD player and reversing camera, all hooked to a JBL sound system.
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|Camry Atara SL interior with DAB+ dashboard|
The move follows Hino Australia’s more dedicated push to make digital radio standard in all of its trucks.
European carmakers like BMW and Audi are also taking up digital radios, but as an optional extra rather than stock.
Australian broadcasters running on digital see the gradual move by car manufacturers as a plus for the format as a third of Aussie listeners are in their cars while listening to the radio.
The commercial radio industry’s digital radio broadcasts first began in Australia in 2009, but a greater switch has been seen across other sectors.
The Western Australian Police recently awarded digital radio contracts to Motorola to the tune of $40 million to push its metropolitan emergency services broadcasting into digital, according to The Australian. The move follows a plan that has been under way since 2005.
While commercial digital radio allows typical listeners to access song listings and an electronic program guide, police use allows improved voice clarity and new methods of encryption.