Why US Lawmakers Want Elon Musk's Tesla, Other EV Makers To Preserve AM Radio In Cars

Zinger Key Points
  • Proposed bill: 'AM for Every Vehicle Act' mandates AM radios in cars for emergencies.
  • EV makers removing AM radios due to powertrain interference.
  • Bill aims to ensure public access to news, music, and emergency alerts.

A newly proposed bill seeks to enforce the retention of AM radios in new-age vehicles, including electric vehicles made by big names like Elon Musk-led Tesla Inc TSLA. Titled the ‘AM for Every Vehicle Act,’ the bill aims to address concerns about the ability to communicate with the public during emergencies.

What Happened: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced the bill, highlighting the importance of AM broadcast radio for emergency communication. The proposed legislation would direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to ensure that all vehicles are equipped with AM radios at no additional cost.

According to the National Association of Broadcasters, AM radio stations have a long reach and can be accessed by anyone with a simple radio device, which functions even during power outages, natural disasters or other emergencies, providing critical updates and information to the public.

See Also: Apple CarPlay Vs Android Auto: What’s On Tesla, Ford, Rivian And GM’s Dashboards

Fine Print: Under the act, automakers that choose to exclude AM radios in their vehicles would be required to disclose this to customers prior to NHTSA regulation. Additionally, the Government Accountability Office will conduct a study to evaluate the effectiveness of alternative communication systems as potential replacements for AM radios.

Why It Matters: EV makers have been eliminating AM radios from their vehicles, citing interference with electric powertrains. Several prominent automakers, including Bayerische Motoren Werke AG BMWYYFord Motor Co FMazda Motor Corp MZDAYPolestar Automotive Holding UK PLC PSNYRivian Automotive Inc RIVN, Tesla, Volkswagen AG VWAGY and Volvo AB VLVLY VOLVF have already removed AM radios from their vehicle models.

"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," Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), a signatory on the bill, said.

“Congress should act swiftly to pass this bill so Americans retain access to news, music, talk, and emergency alerts on the public airwaves,” Cruz said.

Check out more of Benzinga’s Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link.

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