Ford has announced a new feature for its pickup truck lineup: a rear seat belt monitor, debuting as standard equipment on the 2019 Ranger mid-size pickup. Just like the monitor that currently maintains watch on the front-seat passengers, the new Belt Monitor will keep an eye on the backseat passengers, alerting the driver if one of them unbuckles their seat belt.
The system even tells the driver which passenger did it (if there’s more than one) and lights up an icon on the gauge cluster to further tattle.
“Whether you’re on the freeway or the trail, we want to make sure everyone who puts a seat belt on keeps it on,” said Paul Kula, Ford electrical systems engineer, in a statement. “We hope that making Belt Monitor a standard feature in every Ford Ranger will provide extra peace of mind for the driver.”
The feature, common in some higher-end European luxury brands, first debuted on the 2018 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, and will also be available on the all-new 2020 Ford Explorer when that model arrives in showrooms later this year. It will then be rolled out across the Ford lineup over the next few years.
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The Belt Monitor function joins several other standard safety features for the Ranger, such as automatic emergency braking, across all models. Standard on XLT and Lariat trucks is the Ford Co-Pilot360 suite of safety systems, including lane keep assist and blind spot monitor, with adaptive cruise control and backup sensing systems as options.
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