2012 Ford Mustang equipped with SYNC AppLink

2012 Ford Mustang equipped with SYNC AppLink

The problem with conventional radio stations is that they rarely play what you want to hear, when you want to hear it. Satellite radio gives you a better chance of finding content to your liking, thanks to the sheer number of channels available.  The best radio station would play only the type of music you want to hear, and like satellite radio, wouldn’t be limited to a specific broadcast area. Enter Pandora, the hugely popular Internet radio service.

Once limited to smartphones, Pandora is finding a wider audience among automakers these days. The company just announced an expanded relationship with Ford, which will now offer Pandora in 10 Ford and two Lincoln vehicles. Scion has been added to their client list, which currently also includes BMW, MINI and Mercedes-Benz. Other automakers, including Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Hyundai and Toyota, are working with Pandora to integrate the service on existing vehicles as soon as possible.

Pandora’s executive vice president of business development, Jessica Steel, explained the importance of the automotive market. “Our goal is to allow people to personalize their radio experience anytime, anywhere. Nearly 50 percent of radio consumption happens in the car, so it’s a natural venue for Pandora. We want to make the experience as easy in the car as it is at home, at the office and on a mobile phone,” Steel told the crowd gathered for Pandora’s Analyst Day.

If you drive an older car, there’s still hope for you. Audio component manufacturers Alpine Electronics, JVC, Kenwood and Pioneer all manufacture Pandora-enabled aftermarket automotive stereo systems, and Sony will soon launch their own line. No matter what you drive, you may never have to listen to bad music again.