(HorizonPost.com) – Car makers are to end the availability of AM radio in future vehicles. Some key manufacturers have announced that further changes will accompany the transition from gasoline to electricity-powered cars. BMW, Mazda, Tesla, and Volkswagen are among the companies who say that access to AM radio will be abolished.
One of America’s biggest car manufacturers will follow suit. Ford will remove AM from all vehicles, including gas and electric. A Ford statement claimed that only 5% of motorists listen to the frequency.
There has, however, been some pushback.
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) published a statement in April announcing a new campaign, “Depend on AM Radio.” The group said AM radio is crucial, that people rely on it for news and community engagement, and that 82 million people currently listen to it. NAB also emphasized AM’s importance in disseminating emergency alerts.
“With a monthly audience of 82 million Americans, AM radio is a cornerstone of everyday life for many,” CEO Curtis LeGeyt said. He added that it serves a critical function during extreme weather and natural disasters.
On May 11th, Rep. Mike Gallagher and Rep. Josh Gottheimer wrote a joint letter to Deanne Criswell, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), saying they were concerned about the plans because AM radio is the backbone of America’s Emergency Alert System. The Congressmen asked for clarification on how the end of AM radio in cars would affect the Emergency Alert System and what FEMA plans to do to address this.
Manufacturers, however, argue that the change is vital because electric motors interfere with AM frequencies and cause noise and fading signals. In addition, they say emergency alert systems need to modernize and keep up with modern trends because people are turning away from traditional sources of news and entertainment. Car makers also point out that FEMA’s warning system transmits messages across multiple platforms, including via the Internet and by text messaging.
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