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01/11/2013—We love it when Lexus owners are the first to receive a new technology. This time, it’s the addition of real-time traffic and weather data in Lexus vehicles—with no service subscription necessary.

Lexus today announced this week that, thanks to its new partnership with iBiquity Digital Corporation, the developer of HD Radio™ Technology, it will be the first automotive brand to offer subscription-free, real-time traffic and weather information on its integrated audio systems.

The new Lexus IS sport sedan, which debuts at the North American International Auto Show on Jan. 15, will be the first Lexus vehicle to feature this technology when it arrives in dealerships this summer. However, Sandy Lobenstein, vice president, Connected Vehicle Technology and Planning, points out that the system will eventually roll out across the Lexus vehicle lineup.

Lexus will launch two systems integrating HD Radio, digital audio entertainment and real-time traffic and weather information.

For vehicles with available navigation, Lexus will provide a digital audio and navigation system driven by the first of its kind hybrid technology capable of receiving digital traffic and weather information from both HD Radio stations and the cell phone network, using the driver’s smartphone connected with the Lexus Enform system.

For vehicles without navigation, Lexus will offer a standard premium Display Audio system complete with subscription-free traffic maps and weather information, all delivered by HD Radio stations across the country.

—BRIAN GILL, MANAGING EDITOR

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