Ford's putting back AM radio in vehicles, including EVs

Originally published at: Ford's putting back AM radio in vehicles, including EVs | Boing Boing


Once again, the voices of conservatives overrule a perfectly reasonable decision others have made. Fuck Ford for bending over just like Budweiser did. It weren’t about “emergency alerts” either, because we get those on our damned phones these days. It was about conservatives begging to be able to continue spewing their propaganda over the air waves.


I am hoping they put the radios back into the EV without any of the engineering effort needed to clean the signal. Follow the letter, not the spirit.


If all it takes is a software update to restore AM capability, you’ve got a deeper problem than just “carmakers are removing AM from new cars.” Streaming AM is not actually AM reception, and won’t address the “emergency communication” concerns.


All it took was an app to get FM radio reception on my Smartphone. (Actual FM radio, not streaming)


All the right-wing talk radio is AM. Gotta keep that big chunk of their customer base happy.


Which means you always had the capability in the hardware, and there was no reason you shouldn’t have had it from the beginning. The manufacturer deliberately disabled your device. In the case of the trucks, it sounds like some of them at least are getting fake AM in the form of a streaming patch. And if it enables actual AM reception, it’s still a case of a consumer being given a deliberately defective device.


There are big portions of the country where AM radio is the only thing available; signal quality is not so great, but it carries. Try going out somewhere with a transistor radio and a cell phone to where you have no reception bars on the phone, and I bet you a cookie you can still get at least one AM station.


Overgeneralization warning: the following is mostly true.

In the USA, the urban population has FM and the rural population has AM. Because physics.


I’ll double or nothing on those cookies that it’s an Evangelical Christian broadcast, ultra conservative talk radio, or both.


I’m not sure what carmakers are using, so I can’t pull what I know are the correct datasheets; but based on the number of single-chip AM/FM receivers vs. the number of discrete ones I’d suspect that being enabled by a software update is more likely to mean that it was either ignored or actively disables by prior drivers and UI, rather than that the vendor has cleverly patched in streaming functions that emulate AM behavior.


Yeah, I’m just going by this:

But it could be interpreted several different ways.

A combination of reasonably high population density and a crap allocation of AM frequencies after WW2 meant that Germany went all in on FM radio relatively early and AM was somewhat neglected. One niche where it shone was Cold War propaganda both ways across the Iron Curtain. Of course that didn’t last forever. When they shut down AM radio altogether some years ago nobody seemed to care much.


Agreed! But then again most smartphones contain this same hardware and it’s generally not enabled by default.

I would not be even a tiny bit surprised to learn that Ford did this for reasons that had nothing at all to do with hardware and everything to do with steering more customers into the SiriusXM radio subscriptions.


That’s fine, but how about bringing back the cassette player? I have like 10 of these things and I don’t know what to do with them.


Sad but probably true :frowning:


Data collected from vehicles showed that less than 5% of people were using it…

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this zillionth example of corporations spying on customers, but damn…


A few months ago,I came across this AM/FM video that explains the difference between the two.

I had no idea that AM stood for Amplitude Modulation, and FM stood for Frequency Modulation.


Plus I think this is something you can get externally. IIRC, there are billboards that gather radio usage stats.

Yup, there we go, from a while ago.

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But but I have to upgrade my gear and broadcasting license. I can’t also force feed my diarrhea down people throat indiscriminately in local area. I’m too cheap to pay for FB target ads, too technically illiterate, and it’s too much hassle to target people on internet for local radio station owner. Hm, wondering if there is a platform that is cheapest to spew hate?
Decision…decision /SSSSS

Seriously hope society stop pampering the crazies.