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Pilot, the technology initiative of the National Association of Broadcasters, and Xperi, the license holder for HD Radio, have partnered with six broadcasters around the world to bring Google’s Android Automotive into the Pilot program. Joe D’Angelo, Senior VP of Radio at Xperi, said during the Radio Show conference on Wednesday that they will work together to “continue to evolve” the user interface and expand the hardware abstraction layer — the code that links the software and hardware in dashboard receivers.

“It’s really critical so we can accelerate the deployment of these great services for vehicle manufacturers that have committed to Android Automotive,” said D’Angelo. “And we’re really pleased to have some of the largest broadcasters around the world supporting this effort led by the NAB.” The names of the radio groups that are involved have not yet been released.

During a presentation at the virtual conference, D’Angelo also told broadcasters that DTS Connected Radio – the system that combines over-the-air broadcast radio with internet-delivered content, including from radio groups like Entercom, Cox Media Group and Beasley Broadcast Group – is about to start turning up in cars. “Vehicles that have implemented our system will be arriving later this year and into next year. First in Europe in November, the U.S. and Canada in December, and in Asia in early 2021,” he said. “The whole idea is to give radio a level playing field to compete against these pureplay digital platforms that are becoming prolific in the vehicle.”

The DTS Connected Radio system relies on below-the-surface metadata to offer a variety of features and services from broadcasters. D’Angelo said it should help improve radio’s time-spent-listening numbers among drivers. “The opportunity for your audience to stay connected with your audio programming is extended as we switch from broadcast and IP-delivered audio,” he said.

That global position means DTS Connected Radio will be available in 48 countries, including the U.S. Years of aggregation have added up to 47,804 broadcast stations participating, with another 28,632 stations available at launch.