Ford to eliminate AM radio in new cars
The end of the AM era?
Ford recently disclosed that it would not include AM radio in the 2024 Mustang, which is a conventional vehicle powered by an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE), and not an EV, which is known to cause interference with AM radio reception.
It now seems Ford is looking to phase out AM radio options in “most new and updated models.” The company earlier said it would not include AM in its 2023 F-150 Lightning EV trucks, which resulted in a response from Pete Gaynor, the former Acting Secretary of Homeland Security and administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“Experts at The Federal Emergency Management Agency — the agency I used to oversee — have been clear: eliminating the AM radio will put public safety at risk,” he wrote in an opinion piece published by the Detroit News.
Many agree this would be a mistake.
Seven former FEMA officials have asked the federal government to help keep AM radios in electric vehicles. In a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the group petitioned the government to seek assurances from automakers to maintain AM radios in EVs, arguing that the band is vital to the federal National Public Warning System. In a separate letter, FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington expressed his support of the former FEMA directors.
Upon the news that Ford was dropping AM from its Mustang models, ARS Technica asked the automaker for clarification. A Ford spokesperson told the publication, "A majority of U.S. AM stations, as well as a number of countries and automakers globally, are modernizing radio by offering internet streaming through mobile apps, FM, digital and satellite radio options,” the statement read. “Ford will continue to offer these alternatives for customers to hear their favorite AM radio music, news, and podcasts as we remove amplitude modulation—the definition of AM in this case—from most new and updated models we bring to market."