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Hyundai’s new dashboard ditches the CD player

hyundai display audioAutomaker Hyundai is planning its 2016 digital dashboards, and issued a press release with some details. Main points:

  • The new infotainment dashboard system is metaphor-mixingly called Display Audio
  • Hyundai’s CES presentation won a USA Today “Editor’s Choice” award
  • There will be Google and Apple versions of Display Audio
  • The CD player is removed
  • FM radio has its own navigation button in publicity pictures, and SiriusXM is included

Interestingly, Hyundai plans to roll our the new stack to its down-market cars first, rather than in premium vehicles, according to Inside Radio. the reasoning is that first-car buyers are more likely to over-index on youth and eagerness to stream audio while driving.

Buying into both Google and Apple is smart, and many carmakers are aligned with both systems. Hyundai’s Display Audio is a plug-and-play system, where the driver’s smartphone informs the dashboard display. Hyundai calls that process “projecting” from the phone to the dashboard — it is done via USB cable.

Google and Apple both supply built-in apps, and this is where distribution is key to audio publishers for in-car listening. Drivers who don’t have music apps in their phones can be introduced to iHeartRadio, Spotify, Pandora, and many other selected brands.

Eliminating the CD player simplifies the audio stack, and clearly angles the disruptive effect of Hyundai’s dashboard toward the CD part of the recording industry, furthering the trend away from music ownership, and toward music access.

Brad Hill

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