By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Las Vegas – Select 2014 Toyota and Lexus vehicles will become the first vehicles later this year to display real-time traffic-flow and incident information delivered via HD Radio.
More automakers plan to announce their plans for the technology in the coming months, HD Radio developer iBiquity Digital announced.
Toyota entered into a three-year agreement with Clear Channel’s subscription-free Total Traffic Network (TTN) service to receive real-time traffic plus weather information from The Weather Channel.
The all-new Lexus IS, which debuts next week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, will become the first Lexus vehicle offering the new HD Radio service when it hits dealerships during the summer, iBiquity said. Toyota vehicles with the service will launch later this year.
The vehicles will feature an integrated in-dash display of TTN’s traffic updates, Doppler radar, and real-time weather forecasts broadcast subscription-free by more than 350 HD Radio stations. Toyota plans to expand service coverage beyond the stations’ markets by offering the same services through connected smartphones in vehicles equipped with Toyota’s Entune multimedia systems, Toyota said.
The Weather Channel’s Doppler weather radar will appear overlaid onto the vehicles’ existing in-dash navigation map. Drivers will also be able to access The Weather Channel’s local and national forecasts for over 120 cities with a touch of the console screen. Real-time traffic maps will be updated every two minutes and offer current conditions as well as upcoming 15-, 30- and 45-minute predictive traffic information.
In a separate development, iBiquity is demonstrating consumer radios with Active Alerts technology, which lets radio stations broadcast notifications from the Emergency Alert System.
Alert notifications generate pop-up text messages and trigger wake-up/snooze capability of receivers supporting the technology. One of the first products supporting the technology is JVC’s $1,199-suggested 7-inch KW-NT810HDT navigation unit.
A total of 29 automakers have publicly announced plans to incorporate HD Radio in 150+ models by the end of the year, with more than 70 models featuring HD Radio receivers as standard equipment.
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