The fight over the future of AM radio got a little more heated this week as organizations representing the auto and technology industries told Congress that its plan to mandate this mode of radio wave reception is poorly conceived and will hinder progress.
AM radio has seen almost every other in-car entertainment option come and go—vinyl, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs—and it might predate just about everything other than playing "I Spy," but time is catching up with this old broadcast technology. It is starting to get left behind as new models—many of which are electric vehicles—drive off into the sunset, streaming their audio instead of modulating its amplitude.
When we reported on the news that AM would be absent from the 2024 Ford Mustang, we noted that some elected officials in Congress were not cool with retiring this kind of radio. Now some of them have gone a step further and introduced a bill—the "AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act"—that would require every new vehicle to include an AM radio receiver as standard equipment at no extra cost to the car buyer.
"I would think that if Elon Musk has enough money to buy Twitter and send rockets to space, he can afford to include AM radio in his Teslas. Instead, Elon Musk and Tesla and other car manufacturers are putting public safety and emergency response at risk," said Representative Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), one of the co-sponsors of the legislation.