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WorldDAB launches new in-car digital radio guidelines

New guidelines for car manufacturers and broadcasters have been launched, advising how to offer in-car users a better experience.

The guidelines from WorldDAB have been based on consumer research, which has been carried out in five different countries where drivers were asked to carry out simple tasks using different car radios.

Developed by the WorldDAB Automotive Working Group, the guidelines are the result of collaboration between broadcasters and car manufacturers. The design guidelines are based on seven use-cases, informed by the research, to ensure the guidelines are based on the actual experience of consumers.

The research showed that drivers expect a simple user experience. It also found that an A-Z station list provides the best way to search for stations, pre-sets should be easy and intuitive to set, and that terminology must be consistent and easier to understand. This formed the basis for the resulting guidelines document, which is split into seven consumer use cases.

I want….:
  • to find DAB radio easily in the car media system
  • to find DAB stations easily
  • the list of stations to be up to date
  • to be able to easily set a station as a pre-set
  • to keep listening to my station if it’s available
  • to know more about what I’m listening to
  • my DAB radio to be set up for me 

For each of these use cases the guidelines outline design guidelines and hardware requirements or technical references where applicable. They also recommend that buttons have consistent behaviour between FM and DAB and, to ensure best performance, dual DAB tuners and a good antenna implementation are required.

Laurence Harrison, Chair of the WorldDAB Automotive Group said:
 “Drivers love radio, to the extent that 82% of people wouldn’t buy a car without it – so we need to make sure that the next generation of radio delivers the best possible experience to drivers. These guidelines have been developed to help broadcasters and automotive OEMs better understand what consumers want from their radio and how best to deliver it. We’ve distilled this down to seven consumer use cases and, when delivered together, these form a simple, easy to use interface. This document will continue to evolve, and we’d encourage all interested parties to get in touch with their thoughts and contributions.”