Ford said the HD Radio technology provides "crystal clear radio sound" and it will be factory-installed in some vehicles next year. The technology captures free digital radio broadcasts and eliminates much of the static, fadeout, and other problems associated with traditional analog radio signals.
The company noted that the new technology provides FM audio comparable to near-CD quality and AM audio that is as good as traditional FM broadcasts.
"iTunes Tagging and HD Radio technology are strong new additions to the growing collection of Ford convenience features and technology," said Mark Fields, president of Ford Americas, in a statement. The automotive firm forged a deal with Opera Software earlier this year in which Opera's browser will be preloaded on the Ford Work Solutions in-dash computer. The device has a 6.5-inch touchscreen as well as a cellular broadband connection. Other features include a battery-powered printer, a CD slot, and a wireless keyboard and mouse.
The new Ford conveniences are aimed at music-loving drivers. In addition to the iTunes Tagging feature, Ford vehicles will offer HD Radio technology, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and Internet radio accessible through Bluetooth-streaming capability on smartphones. Ford noted that more than 2,000 U.S. radio stations currently offer digital HD Radio sound.
The iTunes Tagging feature allows drivers to save song information in the car radio's memory by simply pushing the "Tag" button on the radio display. The song information is stored for later access from an iPhone, iPod, or other device.