DaimlerChrysler is investing $100 million in Sirius Satellite Radio and plans to begin offering satellite radio systems in cars and trucks beginning next year.
Sirius expects to offer seamless coast-to-coast coverage of up to 100 channels of programming, including 50 channels of commercial-free music and up to 50 channels
of news, sports and entertainment for a monthly subscription fee of $9.95.
The arrangement includes Freightliner and Sterling heavy trucks.
DaimlerChrysler and Sirius will also work together to develop telematics functions using the Sirius national digital broadcasting system. These applications may include a range of wireless security, convenience and navigation services for DaimlerChrysler vehicle owners.
Sirius has already signed agreements with other car makers such as Ford and BMW, but Freightliner is the first truck manufacturer to agree to install satellite radios in commercial vehicles.
"It is crucial that our commercial vehicle customers have the most advanced technologies and the best entertainment options for the long hours spent on the road," said Freightliner president Jim Hebe. "We expect this alliance to usher in a new era of commercial-free music and innovative news, talk and entertainment radio programming for motorists and truckers across the U.S."
Sirius has alliances with eight leading automotive electronics manufacturers to produce digital receivers for the automotive aftermarket and for installation in new vehicles. These include Alpine, Audiovox, Clarion, Delphi Delco Electronics, Kenwood, Panasonic, Recoton and Visteon.
Sirius expects to begin broadcasting nationally at the end of the fourth quarter of 2000.