Beyond the modest styling and trim-level design changes to the , there is lots of new technology stuffed inside the latest version of the top-selling pickup truck.
To better serve pickup buyers looking for more safety systems and better fuel economy, the new F-150 will offer segment-first adaptive cruise control with stop-start across the powertrain lineup (Raptor offers stop-start only in Normal and Weather modes). The adaptive cruise control system allows the pickup to match the speed of the vehicle in front of it, even allowing it to come to a full stop if necessary and then shutting off the engine to save fuel. The result will be better overall fuel economy for those who spend a good chunk of their work day in stop-and-go traffic.
Additionally, the new F-150s also will be among the first pickups to offer as options a precollision alert system with pedestrian detection as well as lane keeping and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The system will be optional on Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum, and standard on Limited models. Interestingly, Ford has included new software parameters that allow the systems to compensate for vehicles carrying larger payloads or towing trailers. This provides the driver with a wider safety buffer and more confidence in complex driving situations.
These sensor-and-camera-based safety systems are the key to producing self-driving vehicles. At this stage, most of these advanced technologies can be disabled with a switch or a tap of the touchscreen, but there may come a day in the future when your pickup will park itself or come when you call it. While we think that time is still several years away, it will be interesting to see how truckmakers respond to the autonomous vehicle trend.
The 2018 Ford F-150 will be available this fall.