The 2021 Ford F-150 pickup truck will have several technologies available, including Onboard Scales, Smart Hitch, and continuously controlled damping for towing and hauling applications.
Onboard Scales measure and display the approximate weight of the payload in the Ford F-150 pickup 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, the lights illuminate, with all four lights indicating that the pickup truck is 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 approximate weighing of additional items loaded into the bed.
Smart Hitch measures the tongue weight of a trailer being connected in order to help the user 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 guide users through properly tensioning a weight redistributing hitch.
Continuously controlled damping enhances ride and handling characteristics, especially when towing or hauling heavy loads. A computer within the Ford F-150 pickup truck analyzes multiple signals collected from high-resolution sensors and adjusts 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. 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 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.