At Midway Group, we strive to stay ahead of the curve by following upcoming vehicles, technological advancements and release dates allowing us to be the first in the industry to get our hands on some of the hardest to get and most sought after vehicles. Over the past few years, manufacturer’s engineering and research and development departments have made a push to make clean, eco-friendly vehicles that are smarter and less reliant on driver input. Heeding this trend, we commenced an internal study benchmarking the industry’s top autonomous tech: Cadillac’s Super Cruise and Tesla’s Autopilot … sparking our interest in the upcoming self-driving competition with Ford’s 2021 F-150.
“Built Ford Tough” has been Ford’s slogan since 1979 and, we believe, it still holds true. The all-new F-150 has been redesigned from bumper to bumper (including every single exterior panel) and built to be more aerodynamic, smarter, and yup you guessed it, tougher. As a result, Ford presents new features including Active Drive Assist, the new Sync 4 infotainment system with OTA software updates and the electrifying PowerBoost hybrid.
The “EV-olution” of Ford’s truck line up started with the development of the F-150 PowerBoost and is set to release a fully electric model within the next two years. Ford’s new hybrid is driven by a Twin-Turbo 3.5L V6 engine paired with a 10-speed transmission and a 35-kW electric motor giving the F-150 an estimated range of 700-miles per tank and a max towing capacity of 12,000 pounds. Also included is Ford’s new Pro Power Onboard generator, a high-power 2.4-kW 120-volt 20-amp power inverter which comes standard on the new F-150 hybrid. Ideal for jobsites, camping trips or even tailgating to plug in anything from power tools to a crockpot, or even fire up a coffee machine.
With the introduction of its Active Drive Assist, Ford enters into the race with Cadillac and Tesla to create a fully autonomous driving experience. Ford accomplishes this with a current 100,000 miles of pre-mapped road allowing Active Drive Assist to provide hands-free driving. Just like Cadillac’s Super Cruise, this system will require the driver to stay alert by monitoring head positioning and eye movement through an infrared driver-facing camera. Although this new feature will not be actively available at the time the F-150 PowerBoost hits the showroom floor, Ford will mimic Tesla by selling a hardware upgrade and then provide an OTA software update through the new Sync 4 infotainment control center.
Ford’s Sync 4 system creates a smart truck for a smart world offering wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as a standard feature. This system also allows voice recognition, cloud-based connectivity and OTA updates, reducing unnecessary trips to the service center or repair shop. Currently, OTA software updates include navigational map information with live traffic conditions, predictive maintenance allowing remote diagnosis of vehicle problems and can even install new features.
We wouldn’t be surprised if the all-new F-150 is able to regain its Truck of the Year title – I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.