Is this the end of in-car CD players? Ford seem to think so
Scrabbling around the car for a new CD to listen to on the road could soon be a thing of the past.
Ford hopes to usher in a digital age for in-car entertainment by binning CD players in its new models.
The company points to plummeting CD sales and rocketing digital downloads as its reasoning, saying that CD sales fell by 35 percent between 2006 and 2010, while downloads increased by seven times in that same period. It also reckons that digital sales of singles account for 98 percent of the market.
“In-car entertainment technology is moving digital more rapidly than almost any other element of the vehicle experience,” said Sheryl Connelly, global trends and futuring manager at Ford. “The in-car CD player – much like pay telephones – is destined to fade away in the face of exciting new technology.”
The new cars will have the Sync ‘infotainment hub’ that lets drivers access their music library through the internet by plugging in a device called a dongle, which enables Wi-Fi. This would facilitate using devices such as iPods, iPhones and other digital music players. The in-car computer ‘hub’ can then access digital libraries stored on the internet, be it through Spotifiy or Apple’s iCloud.. The company expects two million cars to be on the road with the system by 2015 in Europe alone.
The company already offers digital radio, as standard on the new Focus, and as an option in the Mondeo, S Max and Galaxy.
“Ford will obviously continue to offer CD players while there is demand,” said Ralf Brosig, multimedia manager for Ford of Europe. “However, over time we expect customer preferences will lead us quickly into an all-digital approach to in-car audio entertainment.”