The 2021 Ford F-150 is the most advanced version of America’s favorite pickup that we’ve seen yet. Whether you look at the truck’s available PowerBoost hybrid powertrain, the Pro Power Onboard generator, or its over-the-air update capabilities, this F-150 isn’t like your dad’s old half-ton. Ford isn’t done tweaking the 14th-gen F-150 yet however, as the automaker has just released some details on new tech features coming to the pickup. Not to be confused with simple gimmicks, these new Ford truck features aim to improve driver experience when towing or hauling heavy loads. Here’s what you need to know about the 2021 Ford F-150 Onboard Scales and Smart Hitch systems.
Let’s start with Ford’s new Onboard Scales. As the name might suggest, this bit of kit will allow Ford truck owners to measure the approximate weight of their payload out in the bed. This information is then relayed to the driver via the center screen, the FordPass app, or through something called smart taillamps. Four LEDs are stacked vertically inside the lights, not unlike a battery indicator on your phone or laptop, which will light up corresponding to how much of your payload capacity you’ve reached. Overfill the 2021 Ford F-150, and the fourth light will begin to blink. Each truck is programmed to know it’s own capacity based on how it is specced, which is pretty convenient. Ford will also allow for something called scale mode, which zeroes out the current bed contents to help appropriately estimate the weight of an item.
When the bed is no longer up to the task, the Blue Oval has made some slight adjustments to make towing with a 2021 Ford F-150 easier. The new Ford Smart Hitch feature provides drivers with tips on weight distribution, as well as aiding against hitch overloading. It accomplishes this by calculating the tongue weight, and can even tell the driver if the hitch is set at the wrong height. To further improve the experience of towing, FoMoCo also will be rolling out Continuously Controlled Damping. In Tow/Haul mode, the automaker claims the variable dampers will help reduce stress on the driver by smoothing out the ride regardless of the heavy load.
All three of these new bits of tech are destined for the 2021 Ford F-150 in early June, with deliveries expected to take place in the later half of the summer. We have no word as to whether or not these features will be coming to other Ford trucks, or what the pricing model is going to look like. Ford CEO Jim Farley knows that F-150 customers are willing to pay up for new tech, but we don’t expect these features to break the bank.