In-car technology has exploded over the past few years, with navigation screens, hard drives, iPod connectivity, and satellite radio becoming more and more important to consumers. While Ford was slow to get on the multimedia super highway, the Blue Oval has picked up steam with the introduction of SYNC. Ford also launched HD Radio in fall 2007, and the Dearborn automaker plans to offer the digital music maker in every Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury by 2009

HD radio is gaining in popularity as it offers superior sound quality vs. traditional radio and exclusive content, without the need to pay a monthly subscription. Radio stations are fast-adopting HD Radio as well, with 1500 stations now broadcasting digitally. Over 700 of those stations are now offering H2 and H3 multi-casts, which means that your favorite station can offer multiple genres, or more simultaneous choices of the kinds of music you love. With satellite radio riddled with commercials and still costing $12.95 per month, lets hope that HD Radio can give us what we like, but without the cost. Hit the jump to view the Ford press release.

[Source: Ford]



FORD, LINCOLN AND MERCURY VEHICLES TO FEATURE FACTORY-INSTALLED HD RADIO TECHNOLOGY IN 2009

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7, 2008 – Ford Motor Company today became the first US automaker to announce the availability of factory-installed HD Radio™ technology as a standard or optional feature on Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles beginning in calendar year 2009.

The announcement follows Ford's launch of HD Radio technology in the fall of 2007 as a dealer-installed option. As with the company's ground-breaking SYNC system, the factory-installation of HD Radio technology expands Ford's commitment to deliver state-of-the-art entertainment and communications technologies.

"Our goal is to offer drivers the best new features and the most choice," said Jim Buczkowski, Ford's director of Electrical System Engineering. "The great local content, the crystal-clear sound quality and the variety of channels and data services offered by HD Radio is exactly what customers are beginning to expect in their vehicles. Moving forward, a radio will no longer be considered competitive if it doesn't include digital technology."

HD Radio technology dramatically increases the sound quality of radio broadcasts and enables more than one radio broadcast on a single channel. As a result, consumers hear a wide range of new HD2/HD3 multicast stations as well as their favorite radio stations in crystal clear digital sound. More than 1500 radio stations in the U.S. currently broadcast in digital HD Radio sound, with more than 700 stations also airing HD2/HD3 multicasts.

Beginning in 2009, HD Radio technology will join other factory-installed technologies – including SYNC and the company's next-generation of navigation with SIRIUS Travel Link – offered in Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles to make driving more enjoyable and convenient than ever. Digital radio will be additional source of source of information and entertainment that drivers can choose, particularly for great local and community information not available through other sources.

HD Radio Broadcasting Continues to Grow in Popularity
HD Radio broadcasting is rapidly growing in popularity and is now available to over 80 percent of the population. More than 1,500 AM/FM stations are currently offering digital content, including more than 700 HD2/HD3 multicast stations offering unique formats and content. All a consumer needs is a new HD Radio receiver; the content is free.

There are over 50 distinct HD Radio receivers for sale at thousands of retail stores and online. The radios are priced from under $100 from major mass-market retailers across the U.S., so virtually anyone can experience the crystal-clear digital sound on AM and FM as well as the broadcast-exclusive new FM channels. For a full list of HD Radio stations, visit http://www.hdradio.com.