Ford details dual FM radio tech for 2017 Fusion, Escape

The system compares signals from the primary FM antenna and the rear window heater grid.

Ford has detailed improved FM radio technology that will debut with available Sony audio systems in the 2017 Escape and Fusion.

Dual radio reception requires a second receiver that uses the rear window heater as a supplementary antenna. The radio can then analyze the signal from both antennas, providing distinction between two signals that may be overlapping on the same frequency. Ford claims to be one of the first automakers to implement such technology with support for HD Radio.

"A second antenna and receiver reduces interference from the same radio signal when it is received twice - especially prevalent in cities and mountainous areas, where radio signals tend to bounce around the landscape," the company describes in a statement. "The result is longer, clearer radio listening."

Ford conducted a 4,200-mile road trip to test radio signals in cities across the US, allowing engineers to verify that the technology succeeds in maintaining higher audio quality in the 'middle zones.'

As a specific example, the company claims a traveler driving from Chicago to Detroit could experience up to 15 minutes of interference on a frequency that is being transmitted from separate stations in each distant city. The system will eventually make a quick switch from the Chicago station to the Detroit transmission once the latter signal becomes stronger than the former.

Aside from the new FM tech, certain Fusion packages have been equipped with acoustic laminated glass on the windshields and front doors. The number of speakers on the Hybrid S/SE models are jumping from six to nine, enhancing active noise cancellation.

"The Fusion cabin blocks more wind and boasts more interior quietness than 2016 Honda Accord and Toyota Camry," the company claims.

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