Ford’s F-150 is one of its top performing vehicles, selling nearly 900,000 in 2019 alone. However, the brand’s 2021 edition may look a little different to fans.
The 2021 F-150 will be fit for the modern age, with a host of new features, such as optional hands-free driving mode. It will be one of the only vehicles in the United States to have a hands-free driving mode, called “Active Driving Assist”, but drivers can only activate the feature on certain highways that have already been mapped out by Ford. To help keep drivers safe, the trucks come equipped with a monitoring system that uses a driver-facing camera to verify that they are watching the road while the feature is enabled.
Ford’s new F-150 also includes wireless airplay for Apple and Android devices and over-the-air software update capabilities. The latter feature allows the truck to update automatically, rather than a driver having to take it into a shop. The software updates will apply to the car’s infotainment system and preventative maintenance updates, ideally reducing repair and maintenance trips for vehicle owners. The F-150’s infotainment system is also getting an upgrade, including a built-in charging pad and a new 12-inch landscape touchscreen available in bigger versions of the truck and an 8-inch screen in regular sized models. Additional features for the new F-150 include an updated pedestrian detection feature, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control.
The new features of Ford’s F-150 signal one of the largest technology upgrades for the brand. Ford is actually taking its advancements a step further by also introducing a hybrid F-150. The auto brand plans to release a fully electric F-150 model in 2022, but consumers can buy the hybrid model coming out this year until then. While a regular F-150 can travel around 500 miles on a full tank of gas, the new hybrid F-150 can travel up to 700 miles per tank. The hybrid vehicle does not include a charging plug, rather the built in battery will charge through energy generated when the truck uses an electric motor to brake.
The F-150 has been one of Ford’s most popular and highest selling vehicles since its release in 1975. To keep consumers returning and repurchasing the truck, modernization is key. To engage its legion of auto aficionados, Ford—which is ranked first in Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Auto—turned to social media with a video ad highlighting many of the truck’s newest features. The brand included its tagline hashtag, #BuiltFordTough, as well as #FordF150, to connect with its more than 15 million social media followers.
Ford’s revamping one of the most purchased cars in the country could make it fit for a new era of drivers.