Ford US to pack F-150 with class-exclusive towing tech

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Ford Motors will be adding class-exclusive technologies to one of its best-selling pickup trucks in the US. The Ford F-150 will now come with new utility-oriented features like onboard scales, Ford Smart Hitch, as well as continuously controlled damping, making the beefy pickup truck a whole lot smarter.

“We’re constantly working to deliver a continuous history of capable, strong and smart trucks designed to make the F-150 customer even more productive. This summer, we’re delivering three new features all about enhancing the F-150 customer experience while delivering even greater confidence when towing and hauling,” said Ford Truck Group Marketing Manager Todd Eckert.

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According to Ford, the all-new F-150 will come with onboard scales which will allow customers to gauge how heavy is the cargo they’re hauling. This new feature is said to estimate cargo weight in real time and indicate capacity three different ways: through the truck’s center touchscreen panel, on a mobile phone through the FordPass app, or in graphics within the truck’s smart taillamps.

 

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The first two means of displaying weight estimation does not come as a surprise, but displaying the percentage of payload capacity by illuminating LEDs arranged in a built-in vertical bar is something new. It’s also a pretty handy and a well conceived feature since customers won’t actually get the chance to look at their phones or the display screen inside the truck when loading heavy cargo.

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Ford said that as the truck is loaded, all four lights of the F-150’s smart tail lamps illuminate, showing it’s fully loaded. If the truck is overloaded, the top lights will blink. The maximum payload based on the pickup’s configuration is programmed into the system. In addition, the truck can be set on scale mode, which zeroes out the current load and allows for approximate weighing of additional items loaded into the bed.

Another smart feature Ford equips the 2021 F-150 with is Smart Hitch.

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This class-exclusive feature is designed to help customers easily load trailers and better practice safe towing. Customers can manage cargo weight effectively with the smart hitch as it measures the tongue weight of a trailer being connected. This way owners can eliminate the possibility of trailer sway while driving.

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Like the aforementioned smart scales, Smart Hitch information can also be seen from the display screen in the cabin, on the FordPass mobile app, or on the smart taillamps. Smart hitch can also help owners with hitch height and guide them through properly tensioning a weight redistributing hitch.

Lastly, Ford said that the all-new 2021 F-150 will come with continuously controlled damping. This will effectively enhance the truck’s ride and handling performance, especially when towing or hauling heavy loads.

High-resolution sensors will feed information to the truck’s on-board computer, which will then analyze the data to adjust vehicle response to each situation by controlling valves in the suspension.

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Ford F-150’s advanced damping technology uses damping force to control unwanted motion to reduce the impact, say, when running through a pothole. The dampers will firm up when the edge of a pothole is detected, preventing the tires from falling deep into the pothole. Drivers can choose between different modes to adjust and tune the damping system.

Meanwhile, Ford Philippines offers its own take on superior suspensions with the Ranger FX4 Max that comes outfitted with Fox shock absorbers. It may not be as smart as the adaptive suspensions on the 2021 F-150s coming out in the US, but it sure can handle the rough terrains of our provinces.

Photos from Ford 

Also read: 

Ford PH cites 3 reasons Fox shocks are worthy off-road equipment

Ford US tests autonomous driving tech via 110K-mile journey

Ford PH dominates 4x4 pickup, small SUV segments

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