Ford, Tesla and BMW scrapping AM/FM radio in new car models

Due to a dwindling consumer base and technical interferences with electric cars, in-car AM/FM radio could soon be a thing of the past

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Car brands such as Tesla, Ford and BMW are excluding AM and FM radios from new car models.

The removal of FM and AM radio comes after a rapidly decreasing number of drivers tuning into radio. This is due to the availability of in-built bluetooth, music streaming and online radio stations. Ford, for example, reported findings recently showing that less than five per cent of in-car listening was on the radio.

Electric engines can also affect the sound of AM frequencies, according to The Washington Post, which has helped trigger the move.

BMW, Mazda, Polestar, Rivian, Tesla, Volkswagen, and Volvo have already taken radio out of its electric vehicles while Ford is set to phase out the format in both upcoming gas-powered and electric models.

The decision hasn’t sat well with every car company, however, with Nissan, Honda and Toyota showing no signs of making a move towards radio-less cars. The decision has also stirred backlash in the US, with lawmakers drafting a bill to stop car manufacturers from removing AM radio, arguing that radio provides public health and safety alerts.

A key supporter of the bill, Democratic Senator Edward Markey, said: “Carmakers shouldn’t tune out AM radio in new vehicles or put it behind a costly digital paywall.”

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation has also stated: “Mandating AM radios in all vehicles is unnecessary. Congress has never mandated radio features in vehicles ever before. Automakers remain 100 percent committed to ensuring drivers have access to public alerts and safety warnings.”

In related news, it recently emerged that AI tech, dubbed Radio GPT, can now run a radio show and even emulate presenters’ voices. It combines GPT-3 technology with its AI-driven system called TopicPulse.

The TopicPulse system scans various platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and over 250,000 other sources, to identify trending topics within specific localities. Utilising GPT-3 technology, RadioGPT generates on-air scripts based on the detected trending topics.


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