Saturday, it was announced that Rolls Royce would be joining Volvo in making HD radio a standard component across all its lines for 2010! This comes quick on the heels of an announcement from Mercedes-Benz that HD will be in all its 2010 models that have “premium feature packages.” Looks like HD has locked on with the luxury car aficionados!
That is one heck of a brand association. Rolls Royce has been known for refinement and luxury since before World War II. It is a name that has stood the test of time and retained its noble bearing throughout. The Phantom, for example, is to cars as a tuxedo-clad James Bond is to espionage (the Sean Connery Bond). To have HD radio become a standard firmly affixes the growing medium in the luxury market and the luxury mindset.
Here is the statement from iBiquity via Radio Ink:
“We are proud to confirm the availability of HD Radio technology for yet another prestigious brand — Rolls-Royce,” iBiquity COO Jeff Jury said. “The Rolls-Royce brand is revered. This commitment to HD Radio technology as standard illustrates how digital radio’s dynamic function enhances the in-car ambiance. The addition of Rolls-Royce to the HD Radio roster truly solidifies the technology’s stature in the luxury automotive class.”
Rolls Royce joins an array of other car makers in offering HD either as a standard or an option: BMW, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes, Mini, Scion, Land Rover and Volvo. In addition, Audi, Ford, Kia, Lincoln and Mercury are soon to join their ranks and have committed to offering HD as well. Now that approximately 85% of the US is covered by HD signals, it looks like it could be a great time for a road trip!
It’s really fun watching a medium grow up. There are always growing pains, but the process always seems to yield fascinating results. As each quarter slips by, we see more maturity in the HD radio platform. Not only are the high-end auto makers adding it in as a standard, but there is now a HD listening option for the iPhone. (See my earlier post.) The times are certainly changing, and as far as HD is concerned, changing for the better!