I recently listened to AM radio because I was in an unfamiliar area far from home. I wanted to hear the news. Later, I wanted to hear the road advisory, which Washington state sometimes broadcasts on AM if that area has a road condition, like a closure.


Amplitude modulation (AM) frequencies travel much further than FM, and have long been considered the de facto platform for distributing information during natural disasters and emergencies. According to AM radio executive Jerry Chapman, "When the power goes out and cell networks are down, the car radio is often the only way for people to get information, sometimes for days at a time."

Automaker Ford initially removed AM service from its 2023 F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-e after data showed that fewer than 5% of its customers listened to it. Interestingly, the company also removed AM radio from its gasoline-powered 2024 Mustang, so more than just frequency interference led to the initial decision. Ford later recanted and is restoring AM service to all three vehicles, according to CEO Jim Farley.