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The car aerial may be consigned to the history books, possibly within the next decade, as the listening habits of motorists shift away from from broadcast radio and physical formats, such as CDs and move towards downloaded or streamed audio. That’s according to a new study from Nissan.

In a survey of UK motorists, one in six said they prefer to listen to podcasts, audiobooks, downloaded playlists or streamed music direct from their smartphones. Five years ago, this was the case for just one in 12 drivers. As a result, CDs have seen a steep decline in usage.

“Today, largely through smartphone connectivity, we have an infinite library of content at our fingertips. It’s perhaps no surprise that driver preferences are shifting towards on-demand and streamed services, rather than scheduled broadcasts or offline audio formats such as CD,” says Ponz Pandikuthira, Vice President, Product Planning, Nissan Europe.

“Within the next decade, the integrated systems in our vehicles will be processing huge amounts of data. We’ll be streaming audio, navigational and visual information, entirely through cellular transmissions, with 4G and 5G connection speeds required to manage this data demand. As a result, by 2030, it’s entirely feasible that the car aerial – in the form we know it today – may be another feature consigned to the automotive history books,” adds Pandikuthira.

The first AM-receiving in-car radio system debuted in 1932. The FM version followed in 1952.

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