Alerts & Notifications

Are Emergency Alerts Coming to Car Dashboards?

Technology is being introduced this week that would allow radio stations to send alerts to the same displays that give song titles.

by Rick Wimberly / April 13, 2015

What if I were to tell you that you could send emergency alerts to car dashboards? Is that something you would be interested in? (Fans of HBO’s Entourage will get the reference.)  

Well, the technology is already in place and is being shown off this week in Las Vegas at the NABShow, the big convention of the National Association of Broadcasters. It’s the same system that allows a radio station to send a signal to your car radio to display the name of the song playing. A company that makes the technology used by radio stations is interested in using that same prime dashboard space to issue alerts. Jump2Go Founder Allen Hartle has introduced a product called e911FM to send alerts, in addition to song titles, to car radios.  

Hartle has set up e911FM to send alerts from FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, which includes weather and Amber alerts. Radio stations can decide which type of alerts they’d like to pass along to their listeners. Hartle says it turns the car dash into a “personal billboard with amazing information." Plus, the stations could also automatically pass along the alerts to their social media channels.  

A natural expansion of the capability would be to give local public safety agencies the ability to send alerts to the radios. That could be accomplished, says Hartle, if there’s interest from radio stations and the public safety community.  

Once again, we see how broadcasting’s efforts to remain relevant can be synced with public safety’s need to inform the public. And, once again, we see a nice opportunity to add yet another channel for alerting.

Now, is that something you would be interested in?