2021 Ford F-150 introduces Onboard Scales, Smart Hitch and adaptive dampers
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The 2021 Ford F-150 gets a new Trick trailer / train technology and optionally adds Ford's continuously controlled damping suspension.
We start with the transport news. Ford calls the first part of the equation "Onboard Scales". When you load items into the back of the truck, your F-150 will now show the approximate weight of those items on the central touchscreen and in your FordPass app. If you already have items in bed and want to weigh new items one by one, you can also do that by zeroing the weight and then adding your new items. Ford calls it "scaling mode".
In addition to checking the weight on one of your screens, Ford implemented a system called Smart Taillamps to measure how much weight is in bed. There are four individual LED bars in the rear taillights that glow vertically as you add more weight. They work like the battery percentage bar in your phone or laptop. The more LEDs you light up, the closer the capacity of your bed will be. When all four lights are on, your bed is fully loaded. As you add more, the lights will start flashing as you overload them. Each F-150 knows its specific payload, so you don't have to think about it yourself.
Next up is something called a smart hitch. This new system measures the tongue weight of an attached trailer and then provides guidance on how to overload the tow bar and how to distribute weight using the same three methods as the onboard scale. This means that you can see the weight on the central infotainment screen, your smartphone app and in the Smart Taillamps. If the weight is too high, the truck will give on-screen advice and guide you through properly tensioning a weight redistribution clutch.
The last thing on the F-150 news today is the introduction of Ford's Continuous Damping Technology. The Expedition and Navigator currently have this technology to improve driving behavior and behavior. We are happy to have it picked up at Ford. The dampers work the same way here as they do elsewhere. A computer in the F-150 analyzes signals from high-resolution sensors and then continuously adjusts the vehicle's response by changing the valve in the dampers. For example, when the edge of a pothole is detected, the dampers tighten to prevent the tires from falling as deep into the hole as they would otherwise. We expect improvements in the F-150's jump, pitch and roll performance when installed.
To keep the towing / pulling theme going, these dampers have a special mode that they enter when the towing / pulling mode is selected. According to Ford, a program has been developed to help make trailer and towing smoother than before by making it easier for trucks and trailers to respond to poor road conditions. Other drive modes also have their own preset damper settings.
According to Ford, all three of the new technologies introduced today (Onboard Scales, Smart Hitch and the Adaptive Dampers) can be ordered for the F-150 in early June. Delivery begins in late summer. The pricing was not detailed in Ford's initial announcement.
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