Ford said it is reversing its decision about halting the addition of amplitude modulation (AM) capability to its future vehicle models.

In a Twitter post, Ford CEO Jim Farley shared that its 2024 Ford and Lincoln models would still include AM radios and promised to provide a software update for the EVs the company released without the capability.

The executive also noted that there are other ways to access AM on Ford vehicles. “Customers can currently listen to AM radio content in a variety of ways in our vehicles – including via streaming – and we will continue to innovate to deliver even better in-vehicle entertainment and emergency notification options in the future,” Farley wrote.

Farley said the turnaround was the fruit of talks with policy leaders, who are pushing “the importance of AM broadcast radio as a part of the emergency alert system.” Last week in Washington, lawmakers also presented legislation that would require companies like Ford to continue including AM capabilities in their vehicle offerings in the future. It stresses that AM remains relevant in the present era as it works at lower frequencies and longer wavelengths, making it useful for public safety alerts.

However, different companies see the technology as old, especially in EVs. In particular, the companies said that EVs produce more electromagnetic interference, which can affect the reception of AM signals. This can result in static, noise, and distorted sounds. Companies BMW, Tesla, Volkswagen, Volvo, Mazda, Polestar, and Rivian share the same opinion, with the Zero Emission Transportation Association believing the bill will “slow innovation and reduce consumer preference.” However, with the bill seemingly getting more support, these companies might soon join Ford in its decision. 

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