The Detroit News reports it may not be long before AM/FM radios disappear from cars altogether. The newspaper spoke with Thilo Koslowski, vice president for the research firm Gartner, Inc., who said that "AM and FM as a delivering mechanism isn't going to be the most important in cars anymore." According to Koslowski, manufacturers will focus their efforts on smartphone integration as well as internet browsing and music streaming. That means while listeners may still enjoy their favorite radio stations, it's less likely they'll rely on traditional broadcast systems to do so.

Automakers from nearly every corner of the globe are already pushing smartphone app integration in a big way, and General Motors recently announced its vehicles will soon be available with 4G mobile internet. But, as you might expect, there's a sizable push against abandoning the airwaves entirely. For starters, current technology doesn't produce a reliable high-speed cell signal everywhere, whereas AM and FM signals are largely reliable over vast distances.

While the CD player is already fading from prominence in new vehicles, other analysts don't see in-dash radios going the same route. While speaking with The Detroit News, John Canali, a senior analyst in automotive multimedia for Strategy Analytics said he believes AM and FM aren't going anywhere due to the fact that automakers don't want to alienate customers.


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  • 134 Comments
      joeboarder108
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why would I pay for internet radio when I can listen to the same station on real radio for free?
      Mr Sled
      • 1 Year Ago
      AM/FM is cheap and super reliable. There is a lot of content. No way is it going away. This would be a major mistake.
      zzzzzz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Until a suitably reliable technology comes along to replace its functions during emergency situations, AM/FM radio in cars isn't going anywhere.
      KAG
      • 1 Year Ago
      The real problem is the death of the volume knobs and the move to touchscreen everything which sucks for audio.
        Greg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @KAG
        Touchscreens suck for everything except picking points on a map.
      Rick C.
      • 1 Year Ago
      One point: AM-FM transmissions are FREE. Everything else isn't. Do we really need to alert another service provider that we can be nickel and dimed on yet another service we used to get for free? Where will this all end? Think about it.
      Narom
      • 1 Year Ago
      Will car radios disappear by 2020? No.
      rcavaretti
      • 1 Year Ago
      Remember the early days of cable? They advertised COMMERCIAL-FREE programming, then look what happened...and you're paying for it. Remember satellite radio when it came out? Same thing, commercial free. Now look at it...commercials...and you're paying for it. AM/FM is free. I won't be steered in a direction were my previous choices were free and now made obsolete, so someone can make a buck.
      pokornat
      • 1 Year Ago
      No they won't. Didn't even bother reading that one.
      whataricky
      • 1 Year Ago
      I see cd players going away but not am/fm. As long as consumers do not all have unlimited data plans they will not use their phones for all streaming content. I also see rear seat entertainment and factory nav systems slowly drifting out due to cell ohone expansion and technology.
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why would I spend extra money on a data plan when I can listen to my favorite local AM talk radio programs for free. Has internet replaced over the air television broadcast not really, I have a internet box hooked up to my TV as a compliment to my regular free OTA antenna TV but I only use the box once in a while. As a compliment to traditional radio fine, but a full on replacement no way.
        Mr E
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cruising
        i agree, but TV has a whole other set of issues with licensing and studios, etc. i would gladly switch to full internet tv if the content was there and easy
        atc98092
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cruising
        Actually, I have replaced virtually all my TV watching with Internet sources (Netflix and Amazon) as well as ripping my DVD/Bluray discs to a server that will stream them to almost every TV in my house. Got tired of paying Dish $150 a month to only watch 6 channels. I get all local OTA stations with a simple antenna in my garage ceiling, but there\'s almost nothing on them I want to watch either.
      anon
      • 1 Year Ago
      manufacturers will focus their efforts on smartphone integration as well as internet browsing and music streaming. Certainly not while driving, c\'mon automakers are you that stupid??????????????
      valgaavmiko
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hate this push for crappy technology that they plan to obsolete or broken well before any analog technology will be. Furthermore, it is much easier to fix analog than crappy touch screen stuff.
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