From AM Radio to Touchscreens: The Evolution of In-Car Entertainment

From AM Radio to Touchscreens: The Evolution of In-Car Entertainment

When you consider Carl Benz patented the first motorcar in 1886 and the first Model T rolled off the assembly line in 1908, you have to wonder what people did for entertainment when in a car. After all, the first car radio wasn’t commercially available until 1930 and you could only blow your horn and scare horses only so often. Those first AM radios were not inexpensive either. They started at $156, almost 25% of the cost of an entire Model A Deluxe Coupe.

Since then, in-car entertainment has become increasingly popular and diverse. In-car radios became more common with push-button radios making their appearance in the mid-1930s. By the mid-40s even the common man could afford an AM radio in their car. It wasn’t until 1952 that FM radio made its debut in vehicles, but it would be decades before FM would outpace AM radio with in-car popularity.

In 1965, Ford made 8-track tape players available in its 1966 cars, a move that was so successful, all Ford cars soon had them installed as standard equipment. These 8-track players were a mainstay in car entertainment until the late 1970s. They were gradually being replaced by the increasing popularity of FM radio, and FM “converter” boxes that allowed AM radios to broadcast the cleaner, FM signal.

It was in the early 1980s that the more compact cassette tapes replaced 8-tracks, and cars were being produced with AM/FM/Cassette combination units. These were popular only for a hot-minute however, as Pioneer introduced the first in-car CD player, the CDX-1 in 1984. CD players would remain a standard in new in-car entertainment for the next 20 years.

Since 2000, in-car entertainment technology has rapidly improved from MP3 players to Bluetooth to SD Cards.

Today, in-car entertainment has transitioned to “infotainment systems”. Automobiles have become interconnected with smartphones and touchscreens, keeping us entertained and connected. Cars have in-vehicle hot-spots. Rear seat video screens and digital games have become more commonplace, especially in family-focused vehicles.

In the past 10 years, we have seen more advances with in-car entertainment than in the previous 80. With self-driving cars on the horizon, the need for in-vehicle entertainment options will continue to grow.

Remember, in-car entertainment should never include texting. It is important for drivers to stay focused on the road and use defensive driving strategies. If you are a safe driver, we invite you to contact us about the possibility of qualifying for a safe driver discount. Our independent agents work for you, not the insurance company. Contact us today for details.


Do you have questions about your insurance? Find an insurance agent near you with our Agent Finder

Buzz Your
Insurance Agent

Search for a local agent with our agent finder map.

Agent Finder

Search All Blogs

Search
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt

Buzz Your
Insurance Agent

Search for a local agent with our agent finder map.

Agent Finder

Want to learn more about our blog writer?

Read more about KayLynn's background.

Click Here

Search All Blogs

Search
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt

When Was the Last Time You…?

Ready for a Trip Back Into Time?

Business Insurance for Start-ups

Protect Your Business from the Very Start with a Custom Business Insurance Plan

Life Insurance Is Not About You

There are Many Good Reasons to Get Life Insurance. You May Not Be One of Them.

Big Boy Toys and Auto Insurance

Make Sure Your Motorized Toys are Covered

Six Common Homeowners Insurance Mistakes

Avoid These Common Errors When Buying Homeowners’ Insurance

Five Recent Fads That Came and Went Quickly

Wow! What Was That? Oh, It Was the Latest Fad.

Are You Legally Required to Carry Business Insurance?

What Type of Business Insurance May Your Business Be Required to Carry?

Four Needs Life Insurance Can Help Fulfill

Life Insurance May Be More Versatile Than You Think

Car Insurance FAQ’s

The Questions We Hear Most Often Regarding Automobile Insurance

Five Quick & Easy Ways to Save on Homeowners Insurance

Saving Money on Your Homeowners’ Insurance May Be Easier Than You Think!

Leave a Comment