Will Autonomous Vehicles Kill Digital Radio?

One of the prime locations for listening to radio is the car, which accounts for something like 1/3 to 1/2 of all radio listening hours.

Traditional AM/FM radio is on the decline, but digital radio and podcasts are growing.

The beauty of audio-only formats is that they do not demand full attention — in particular they do not demand any visual attention, which allows us to listen to audio while doing things like drive, clean the dishes, and vacuum the house.

As cars go fully-autonomous (i.e. the driver no longer even needs to pay attention to the road), will people stop listening to digital audio?

The dishes will always be there, but once vehicular transportation no longer demand our visual attention, I suspect people will opt for YouTube over Pandora.

For what it’s worth, I am a big fan of the Slate podcasts.

Originally published at www.davidincalifornia.com on November 6, 2015.