Real-time traffic updates for Aussie digital radio listeners

By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Commercial Radio Australia has predicted Australian listeners could be the first in the world to experience certain digital radio features when the DAB+ system arrives at the start of next year.

Talking at the Australian Broadcasting Summit today, CRA chief executive, Joan Warner, announced new trials for features including real time traffic solutions and animated logos and graphics for adverts and stations.

Digital radio will be a multi-media experience and these trials promise to deliver a significant upgrade to the way we use and interact with our radio,” said Warner.

“The format Australia has adopted, (DAB+), allows us to do so much more with the technology and we’re keen to provide the types of things that listeners, advertisers and broadcasters have only dreamt about in the past.”

The real-time traffic updates will come from Sentinel Content, whose investors include the NRMA and RACQ, and will supposedly deliver timely traffic bulletins and answers to the best alternate routes to the destination.

Both free-to-air digital radio and DAB+ listeners will be able to use the service, which can also provide additional updates for in-car and portable navigation systems.

Warner said extra data, such as parking information, fuel pricing and transit lane restrictions could also be integrated into the system.

Free-to-air digital radio services will begin in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart from January 2009.  

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