Ford announced today that it’s debuting a host of new technologies for the 2021 Ford F-150 this summer, including class-exclusive Onboard Scales and Smart Hitch as well as a Continuously Controlled Damping active suspension, each engineered to help customers who tow and haul loads with their pickups.
“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,” said Todd Eckert, Ford truck group marketing manager. “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.”
Customers can now gauge how much they’re hauling using the available Onboard Scales, which measure and display the approximate weight of the payload in the truck. Load information is displayed in the center touch screen with a graphic representation of the truck, on a mobile phone through the FordPass app, or in graphics within the truck’s smart taillamps.
Smart taillamps operate like the battery charge indicator on a mobile phone, displaying the percentage of payload capacity by illuminating LEDs arranged in a built-in vertical bar. As the truck is loaded, all four lights illuminate, showing that it’s fully loaded. If the truck is overloaded, the top lights blink. The maximum payload based on the pickup’s configuration is programmed into the system. Additionally, the truck can be set on scale mode, which zeroes out the current load and allows for the approximate weighing of additional items loaded into the bed.
The Ford F-150‘s class-exclusive Smart Hitch is designed to help customers easily load trailers and better practice safe towing. Smart Hitch measures the tongue weight of a trailer being connected to help the customer distribute trailer weight correctly.
After the trailer is set up in the center touch screen, Smart Hitch calculates its tongue weight and provides guidance on weight distribution or hitch overloading on the screen, on the FordPass app, or within the smart taillamps. The truck also will indicate if the hitch weight is too high or low and can even guide owners through properly tensioning a weight redistributing hitch.
The all-new 2021 F-150 offers available continuously controlled damping for an enhanced ride and handling characteristics, especially when towing or hauling heavy loads. A computer within the F-150 analyzes multiple signals collected from high-resolution sensors – adjusting vehicle response to each situation by controlling valves in the shocks.
Damping force is used to control unwanted motions such as bounce, pitch, and roll, reducing the severity the truck and its passengers will feel from traveling through a pothole. When the edge of a pothole is detected, the dampers firm up, preventing the tires from dropping as deep into the hole. Tuning can be adjusted by selecting any of the available drive modes.
In Tow/Haul mode, continuously controlled damping active suspension is specifically tuned to provide a smooth and confident driving experience, easing truck and trailer responses to road conditions while providing connected, precise, and linear steering despite a heavy trailer or load, helping reduce stress on the driver while towing.
Available Onboard Scales, Smart Hitch, and Continuously Controlled Damping active suspension can be ordered in early June, with deliveries beginning in late summer. They add to the catalog of available technology for F-150 like including the new 3.5L PowerBoost V6 full-hybrid powertrain, Pro Power Onboard generator, Trailer Reverse Guidance, and Pro Trailer Backup Assist, Active Park Assist 2.0, and Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection.