Study: voice may be the future of in-car radio listening

30 Aug 2018  |  Newsline Staff 
Study: voice may be the future of in-car radio listening

According to new research, the addition of voice control to hybrid car radios (DAB/FM/internet) may prove a wise step as drivers glance away from the road more than six times less than when using a touchscreen radio.

The research, conducted by Radioplayer and Digital Radio UK, tested the supposition that voice-control reduces driver distraction by tracking the eye movements of nine participants during a thirty minute on-road test.

On average, drivers took their eyes off the road thirteen times when using a touchscreen radio to find a new station, compared to just twice when using voice control.

"From all our recent experience of voice-control, we'd built up a series of assumptions about how it could work in-car," said Michael Hill, MD and founder of Radioplayer.

"These new structured trials taught us a huge amount about how drivers could use voice in real-world situations. We'll now take those lessons into our own prototyping work, which we'll be sharing with car companies shortly."

Furthermore, the drivers reportedly felt themselves that voice control was the safer option, with drivers who had never used voice before adapting quickly. Meanwhile, on the DAB radio, navigating by multiplex was universally problematic.

Laurence Harrison, market development director at Digital Radio UK, said: “We have been working hard with car manufacturers to improve the user experience of digital radio in connected cars.

"This research suggests that adding voice-control to work with a multiplatform hybrid radio (DAB/FM/Internet) is the logical next step and will inform future discussions with our automotive partners.”

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