The radio and the car are today an inseparable binomial. In fact, more than 80% of drivers take advantage of their daily trips to listen to it, according to the Association of European Radios (AER). On the occasion of World Radio Day, we review the evolution, during the last six decades, of this inseparable travel companion:
The first 600 did not have rear-view mirrors, seat belts or radios. "Although it may seem incredible to us now, radio in the 60s was an element of luxury. In the SEAT 600, the radio had to be paid separately, "recalls Jaume Sala, Head of Interior Design at SEAT.
The launch of the first SEAT Ibiza, in the 80s, coincides with the incorporation of the radio cassettes in the car. "It was a great advance, since for the first time you could transport your own music," says Sala. Years later, a new step forward was made with the arrival of the removable radio cassette recorder: "Who does not remember leaving the car with the contraption on its back?" Evokes.
From the 90s, came the integrated screens in the car. "Going from manually tuning a transistor to having almost a computer in the car and communicating by voice. It has been an authentic revolution, "he says. "With a simple word you can order your car to put the radio and choose the station."
Car interior designers have adapted to the evolution of new technologies. Precisely, the screen is now the first element taken into account. "Before we designed the interior and at the end we looked where the radio fit. Now, on the other hand, it happens the other way around: first the screen is placed and then the rest is designed, "explains Sala. A sample of this is that in SEAT there are more and more interior designers.
The design of the screen of a car requires a year and a half of work and 1,000 sketches. To create the SEAT Arona, 3,000 icons and pictograms have been created. It measures eight inches, about 20 centimeters, the equivalent of a tablet. "The buttons disappear and the trend is for cars to incorporate larger and larger screens with more functions," says Sala.
In the first 600 the engine was heard more than the radio. Over the years, systems have been incorporated that have improved the sound quality inside the car. Engineers of the 'Car Audio' department, at the SEAT Technical Center, work from the development phase of a new model. With the use of usual tools in recording studios, they analyze the best location of the speakers and the projection of the grids. The goal is for all occupants of the vehicle to enjoy the best sound experience.