ROAD TO ATSC 3.0 Phoenix Automotive Trial

Literally on the Road to ATSC 3.0, broadcasters in Phoenix are planning an early 2019 trial of the mobile video capabilities of the new broadcast TV standard in concert with Avis Budget Group.


“We’re on a mission to completely reinvent the customer experience through mobile apps, digital platforms and connected cars,” said Avis Budget’s Executive VP and Chief Innovation Officer Arthur Orduña.


“Whether it’s broadcast entertainment, interactive information about the vehicle itself or location-based content and offers, Avis Budget Group looks forward to working with Phoenix Model Market stations to determine what passenger configurations could best accommodate a new in-car offering,” he said.

Entertainment and Interactive Use Cases

A number of passenger entertainment use cases will be tested with Avis Budget Group in Phoenix:

  • Basic over-the-air entertainment programming (both audio and video), with different device types and in-car configurations will be explored. Broadcasters will use the ATSC 3.0 interactive runtime environment with digital rights management and AC-4 multichannel audio decoding. Receiving gear could include plug-in receivers (for an installed entertainment system, such as on a headrest) and TV reception on a tablet.
  • Over-the-air applications and interactive services also will be tested, including a supplemental user experience that includes on-screen applications to enhance viewing and engagement. Potential features include electronic guides, programming-specific text overlays, Avis-specific rental car information, and coupons and maps.

Other potential use cases to be examined in later projects might include map downloads, software updates, and real-time traffic information.

Automotive Advantages of Broadcasting

A white paper developed by Chetan Sharma, noted industry consultant, analyst and white paper author, suggests that a hybrid model with both cellular and over-the-air or satellite reception may be best for future carmakers to manage the data demands on the car of tomorrow.

“The industry should look at a hybrid connectivity framework for building next-generation solutions. This approach would provide the ability to manage the data costs. Cellular will continue to be the backbone for data solutions, but there are emerging technologies such as ATSC 3.0 that can play a very useful supporting role to complement and supplement the data requirements for future vehicles,” said Sharma.

In-Car Tests Start in Early 2019

The intelligence in the telematics control unit can pick the technology depending on the needs of the specific application or service, Sharma explained. “This way, carmakers can have better control over their data costs, which can afford them the opportunity to not only manage the costs of software and map updates but also launch new revenue-generating services such as content streaming and Live TV.”

Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV, the broadcast TV group that is managing the Phoenix Model Market project, said planning is underway now to launch the first in-car tests with Avis Budget Group in early 2019.  “We’ve identified several potential use cases for television-delivered signals in a passenger car, from basic reception of over-the-air audio and video signals to a range of interactive capabilities, since the new broadcast TV standard can easily accommodate reception in a moving vehicle,” she said.

Avis Budget Group, Inc. is a leading global provider of mobility solutions, both through its Avis and Budget brands, which have more than 11,000 rental locations in approximately 180 countries around the world, and through its Zipcar brand, which is the world’s leading car sharing network, with more than one million members. Avis Budget Group has 31,000 employees and is headquartered in Parsippany, N.J.