The Death of Driveway Moments?

"Driveway moments," for those who don’t know, is a term used by NPR and other radio stations to describe those radio stories (or songs) that are so rivetting that you sit in the driveway listening to it after you’ve arrived home.

A variation that I’m familiar with is provincially known as "parking lot eternity" — when you sit and scream at the DJ for not telling you the name of the artist who did that awesome song two or three segments earlier.

Such experiences would come to an end, we’ve known, if and when Tivo for Radio ever showed up in our vehicles.

In Europe, that moment may soon arrive:

The luxuries of owning a PVR for watching TV shows may soon show up in automobiles. The European Space Agency, or ESA. is working on a new satellite radio system that requires little changes to automobiles but will allow listeners to perform the same PVR functions, but to their favorite radio stations. Pausing, rewinding and time shifting will all become usable features for in-car radio.

The ESA’s system employs what it calls "cache" memory for radio — essentially either a hard drive storage medium or some form of solid state memory such as flash memory. When released, the ESA’s system will more than likely employ solid state flash memory for storing audio data, which will better withstand bumps and jolts while driving around.

While satellite radio already exists from Sirius and XM, ESA’s system’s claim to fame is its cost which, according to the ESA, will be a lot cheaper to implement. Because the new system does not require the use of local transmission towers for assistance — like Sirius and XM — there are costs associated with setting up a local ground infrastructure. The ESA’s system will also use existing communications satellites that are already in place. This will require flat satellite dishes to be installed on automobiles, but the ESA claims that the system is small enough to be integrated well.

 ITWire has more.