The day the casette deck was evicted from its place on car dashboards was a watershed moment that, in some ways, marked the end of the technology. We're now reaching the point where the CD player is next up to get lose its valuable spot in automobiles, as the Detroit Free Press reports that Ford's interior chief designer Michael Arbaugh said the company is closely watching and waiting for the right moment to remove the aging tech from the "oceanfront property" of automobiles' interiors. It might not seem like the players cause terrible harm, but the relatively large and expensive CD units waste space on dashboards that are increasingly improving to keep up with — and become — smartphones.
It's taken far too long, but it's clear that car manufacturer's have realized that vehicle entertainment and navigation systems can't be ignored — a recent Cadillac announcement on overhauling its customer support in preparation for the debut of its new CUE infotainment system is a nod towards the importance and sophistication of the units. While the space and price concerns are impetus enough to move on from the CD player, there's another reason in the forefront of manufacturers' minds: fuel economy. Come 2016 the US will mandate an average fleet fuel economy of 35.5 mpg, which will call for as much weight as possible to be stripped from vehicles. Shed a tear while you can for the in-car CD player, especially if you're a purchaser of economy vehicles like Chevy's new Sonic RS, which will not offer any way to play those shiny plastic discs.