Tech Explosion: Ford to Begin Including HD Radio in 2009

Well, the Ford Sync system is in full effect with 911 Assist, Sirius Travel Link and more, but that obviously isn't enough. Ford, Lincoln and Mercury will be including factory-installed HD radio in 2009 as well. Wait, HD radio? Where do you put your eyes?

HD radio is like a regular AM or FM radio all juiced up with MP3-quality music and sound. The compressed digital signal eliminates the static traditionally associated with standard radio and like satellite radio it can include textual information such as song titles, traffic, weather and the like. Unlike sat rad, it's advertising-based, and thus "free." Basically it works the same way as traditional radio, but listners must have a special receiver capable of accepting these signals. and Ford is the first US automobile manufacturer to provide such factory-installed. BMW's been offering HD radio on its entire line since 2007, Jaguar's offering HD radio in the 2008 XJ Sedan, and Hyundai says the Concept Genesis sedan will get it too.

Many will raise an eyebrow at this decision because HD radio has been somewhat of a neverending Betamax. HD radio first burst on the scene nearly six years ago. And still to this day not all radio stations provide an HD stream of content. Hell, it has taken Ford six years to decide to include it factory-installed. And right after the launch of its Sync system? Oh well. At this point, if you ever find yourself bored in a Ford vehicle, you should probably retire from driving completely. [Press Release]