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Ford changes course and pledges to maintain AM radio in both its electric and non-electric vehicles.

Jim Farley, the CEO of Ford, declared on Tuesday that the carmaker is abandoning its prior intention to do away with AM radio from all vehicles by 2024, including those powered by petrol and electricity.

Farley stated the following in a tweet and a post on his professional LinkedIn page:

“We have chosen to add AM broadcast radio as a part of the emergency alert system on all 2024 Ford & Lincoln automobiles after discussing its significance with policymakers. We’ll provide a software upgrade to Ford EV users who don’t have AM broadcast capability. Customers can presently get AM radio programming in our vehicles in a number of ways, including through streaming, and we’ll keep innovating to provide even greater in-vehicle entertainment and emergency notification alternatives in the future. We appreciate the swift action taken by our product development and manufacturing teams to implement this modification for our clients.

According to Ford spokesman Alan Hall, the AM radio option will be added to the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E via a software update. This information was provided to the Detroit Free Press, a member of the USA TODAY Network. Additionally, contrary to what was first agreed, Ford will continue to provide the AM option on its internal combustion engine vehicles through 2024.

Can a Tesla receive AM radio?

Since years ago, Tesla has stopped including AM radio in its vehicles. In an article published on April 14 by Forbes, it was noted that a number of automakers, including BMW, Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen, Volvo, and Tesla, were phasing out AM radio with their electrified vehicles.

The move was announced on April 21 by The Free Press, and social media users expressed outrage over the loss of access to real-time traffic and weather updates. Concerns concerning the availability of emergency broadcasts during times of crisis have been voiced by broadcasters and elected authorities.

Wes Sherwood, a spokesperson for Ford at the time, told the Free Press in April that “we are moving away from AM radio for the majority of new and revised 2024 vehicles. The majority of AM stations in the United States, as well as several other nations and automakers internationally, are modernising radio by providing internet streaming via mobile apps, FM, digital, and satellite radio choices. As we eliminate amplitude modulation, which is the definition of AM in this case, from the majority of new and upgraded vehicles we bring to market, Ford will continue to offer these alternatives for customers to hear their favourite AM radio music, news, and podcasts.

Due to established contract language, Ford has no intention of changing the AM radio in its commercial vehicles.

Ford receives praise from lawmakers

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) commends Ford for agreeing to preserve AM radio in their vehicles, which will keep Americans safe and informed, especially in times of disaster, according to Curtis LeGeyt, president of the NAB, who spoke to the Free Press on Tuesday. With tens of millions of listeners, AM radio continues to be a crucial lifeline for the public, a major source of local news, and a platform for the discussion of many viewpoints.

He continued, “In light of Ford’s announcement, NAB urges other automakers who have removed AM radio from their vehicles to follow Ford’s lead and restore this technology in the interest of listeners and public safety.”

LeGeyt applauded the cross-party legislators who are pushing to maintain AM in cars.

Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, a Democrat, praised Ford in a statement released on Tuesday.

As a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and the co-author of the AM for Every Vehicle Act, Markey stated, “Ford’s reversal reflects an overdue realisation about the importance of AM radio, but too many automakers are still going in the wrong direction.”

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