The Boston Globe he says that US Senator Ed. Markey just sent a letter to more than 20 automakers asking them to continue including AM radios in future car models — including electric vehicles.
The Senator states:
“AM radio has long been an important source of information for consumers. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 90% of Americans age 12 and older – hundreds of millions of people in total – listened to AM or FM radio each week, higher than the percentage who watch television (56%) or own a computer ( 77%)…. Additionally, 33% of new car buyers say AM radio is a very important feature in a vehicle — higher than dedicated Wi-Fi (31%), SiriusXM satellite radio (27%) and personal assistants like Google Assistant (12%) and Amazon Alexa (9%). In other words, AM and FM radio broadcasting remains a key vehicle feature for consumers.
In addition, AM radio is a critical government communication mechanism with the public during natural disasters, extreme weather events and other emergencies. AM radio operates at lower frequencies and has longer wavelengths than FM, so AM radio waves pass through solid objects more easily. As a result, AM radio signals can travel long distances, making them suitable for transmitting emergency alerts.
Despite innovations like the smartphone and social media, AM/FM radio remains the most reliable, affordable and accessible mechanism for government officials to communicate with the public during times of emergency. So any phasing out of radio could create a significant communication problem during an emergency."