The minister for culture has confirmed the Government is committed to introducing digital radio and that it will work with the automotive industry to help it deliver on that commitment.
The confirmation came as the government published its Digital Radio Action Plan, which acknowledges the scale and complexity of the challenges facing the automotive industry in its transition to digital radio.
The minister, Ed Vaizey, said he will work with car manufacturers to ensure that all new cars are fitted with digital radios as standard by the end of 2013.
He also made reference to concerns raised about the 31 million vehicles currently on UK roads which will be affected by the digital upgrade, reinforcing the motor industry’s message that that there needs to be an affordable and easy conversion solution.
“Vehicle manufacturers are confident that it will be possible to meet the 2013 target for new vehicles, but further action will be required to prepare the heritage parc for the ambitious 2015 timeframe. Key tasks include the development of more retro-fit options that meet agreed technical standards. It will also be important to assure consumers that those installing this equipment are appropriately trained,” said SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt.
SMMT recently formed the Digital Radio Committee to support and promote a smooth transition across the motor industry during the upgrade from analogue to digital radio. The new SMMT group, which brings together a cross-section of industry representatives from the car, commercial vehicle and aftermarket sectors, will meet on a regular basis to support the Digital Radio Action Plan.