From the car radio of the 1920s to the audio system with navi and internet
What have times changed! From the first car radio installed by ford in the legendary T-models as early as 1922 to the state-of-the-art digital and networked mobile communication center and link to the driver’s smartphone. Today it’s get in, start the engine, turn on the music and off you go. But how was it in the past..
In the early days, music at the wheel was an expensive and very rare luxury. the first car radio in europe was a 15-kilogram blaupunkt tube set. the radio had a capacity of 10 liters and in 1932, with a price of 465 reichsmarks, it was a luxury item, just like the car itself, because in 1934, when the world economic crisis was subsiding, an opel 1.3 liter, for example, cost just under 2650 reichsmarks. Adjusted for purchasing power in today’s currency, this corresponds today to approx. 11.900 euro for the car and 2.090 euros for the radio.
1922 car radio launch in america and england
In 1922, a radio was installed in a ford model t in chicago. At the same time in england, a daimler was equipped with a car radio from marconiphone co. In 1927, the first industrially produced storage battery co., philadelphia, manufactured car radio "philco transitone" offered in the u.s. by chevrolet as an accessory. Galvin manufacturing corporation (GMC) built the world’s first commercially successful car radio in 1930. developers were william P. Lear and elmer wavering. The 5T71 model cost between 110 and 130 U.S. dollars.
Because of its heavy and bulky design, the radio was given the name "motorola," a neologism made up of motor (motorcar, motion) and ola (sound, wave, la ola). the success was so great that it soon became synonymous in the u.s. with the manufacturer and with a car radio in general.
the first car radio in germany was launched in 1925 by telefunken. It was an elongated version of the home receiver telefunkon 3, which was specially designed for installation in boats and cars. This "sportempfanger 1925" was mounted in the vehicle with a special spring construction.
On the 9. Great german radio exhibition berlin in august 1932 and at the 23. In february 1933, the Berlin-based radiotelefon und apparatefabrik ideal AG (now blaupunkt) presented the "autosuper AS 5" at the 5th International Automobile and Motorcycle Exhibition (IAMA). The superheterodyne receiver (superheterodyne receiver or superheterodyne receiver). "superhet/super") for the medium and long wave range with five electron tubes had been developed together with the ideal parent company robert bosch AG (a gmbh since 1937). The radio was so large that it did not fit in the dashboard, as radio historian wolfgang soll describes it. It was not until 1949 that the radio was successfully integrated into the dashboard.
1948 first car radio installation in the dashboard
Blaupunkt had already moved to hildesheim in early 1945 after the loss of its operations in the east and introduced the 5A649 model in 1948. which could be installed with all components in the instrument panel.
Car radio pioneer max egon becker
the becker company founded by max egon becker in pforzheim in 1949 (today: harman becker automotive systems) introduced the medium-wave autophone (5 tubes/6 circuits) and the additional long- and short-wave aerophone to the customer daimler-benz, and a long business relationship with mercedes-benz began. 1951 becker introduced station keys with inductive tuning (variometer) with the nurnberg device.
Record player for the car
in 1958, a philips automignon 17-cm record player appeared under the instrument panel to meet the desire for personalized music in the car.
Further technical innovations in the car radio
in 1968, car radios with built-in cassette player from philips came on the market. Followed by the first FM stereo car radio (frankfurt stereo) from blaupunkt.
On 1. June 1974 the motorist radio information system (ARI) was put into operation, which enabled automatic recognition of traffic messages on the car radio. 1975 the becker mexico cassette full stereo reverse for cassette operation with autoreverse was released.
First car radio with LCD digital display
Grundig launched the wkc3867vd with a cassette drive and LCD digital display. Since then, most car radios have offered three ways of tuning in: manual tuning, station keys and station scanning. Only the becker mexico cassette electronic 385 offered the fourth option of typing in the frequency digits as in a pocket calculator.
1983 premiere of the first cd player in the car radio
Now that the CD is available, it’s time for the technical revolution to take hold in the car radio as well. in 1983, integrated cd players were introduced instead of cassette drives. in 1985 the devices with integrated cd player from philips and becker appeared (the mexico compact disc 860), later supplemented with cd changers.
in 1987 the becker mexico diversity appeared with two receivers. One for radio reception, the other for monitoring a traffic radio transmitter. A short time later blaupunkt followed suit and called this system the ARI. On 1. april 1988 the radio data system (RDS) for the automatic processing of traffic radio messages in the car radio, transmission of station names and other additional information was put into operation.
users can choose their desired hotel on the internet before the business trip and send the address to their car by e-mail. The navigation system in the vehicle guides you to this destination the next day – and also takes care of the online booking during the trip.
Today, the radio is playing a role in more and more of the car’s control functions, and the control centers are increasingly being marketed by the manufacturers themselves. Retrofit radios in many cases barely fit in the dashboard.
Sales of aftermarket devices shrank from nearly four million in 1994 to 1.1 million today, says gfu spokesman roland stehle: "the aftermarket has lost some ground."
Hands-free, assistance systems and internet connection make driving more comfortable and safer. "the radio was the beginning, but today the applications in premium cars are far more extensive," says eckehart rotter, press spokesman for the German association of the automotive industry (VDA).
Today, in-car connectivity is taken for granted
Today, assistance systems already support the driver in the event of an accident with an automatic or manual emergency call to an emergency response center using precise GPS location. In the future, direct communication from car to car will make driving even safer: vehicles will be able to warn each other of unexpected obstacles. This works much faster than today’s traffic radio messages.
At the largest automotive trade fair, the IAA in frankfurt, a separate congress is now dedicated to automotive information technology.