While Ford is improving FM radio in a couple of their 2017 models, another question pops up in regards to radio and cars if we look a little further into the future. The question of whether or not autonomous, or driverless, cars will include AM/FM radio.
From Jacobs Media Strategies:
“Last week, Ford announced a self-driving car by 2021, with no steering wheel or a gas or brake pedal. These cars are limited to shared rides (for now) and not for individual ownership. But the key is that we’re now talking about five very short years into the future for cars without drivers to hit the road”.
That isn’t very far in the future, but collectively auto execs aren’t entirely sure what the traveling experience in one of these autonomous vehicles will be like. Some are “skeptical and uncertain about the freedom to read a book, return email or watch videos while in these cars” and others, like Ford CEO Mark Fields, believes autonomous cars will change the media game. Yet, there’s still no definitive answer as to whether or not these vehicles will include AM/FM radios as a standard feature.
Perhaps they will allow people to customize the media they want in their vehicles. Whatever happens, this is something for the radio industry to consider. Will it be another hurdle to overcome, or is it nothing to worry about? I will say that radio does have remarkable staying power and has soared over other hurdles in the past, but this is definitely something that the industry needs to keep in mind.
As Jacobs Media Strategies so succinctly states:
“Today, the auto companies are shredding the rule book, creating vehicles and driving experiences the likes of which we’ve never imagined. The dashboard real estate is up for grabs, a less defined space than in the days when the Model T was rolling off assembly lines in Detroit. When it comes to self-driving cars, whether for shared rides or personal ownership, all bets are off.
“Radio needs to be along for this ride”.