New Trucks: Great Features to Look For
October 19, 2017
The 2018 Ford F-150 embodies many available features new truck buyers will want to look for.
Whenever truck engineers revise a new pickup design, there's an expectation that the new truck will be powerful, capable and tough. Maybe less obvious, but just as important, are the features designers put into their trucks to make them safe for the driver.
Before we get started it's important to remember that while many of the new driver-assist features that follow are amazing, they are only supplemental. No innovation can replace the driver's attention, judgment and the need to always be in control of your vehicle. You're still the one behind the wheel, which is one of the reasons why driving remains such an enjoyable experience.
Here are some of the innovations that Ford has designed into the new 2018 F-150 to make it safer and more fun to drive than ever.
The 2018 F-150 benefits from a number of available electronic features, some of which were previously found only on premium passenger cars and SUVs.
Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go: When the driver sets the pickup's cruising speed and the following distance from the vehicle in front of it, the system automatically brakes (and accelerates) the truck to maintain that following distance. It will even bring the truck to a full stop in traffic, and restart again as traffic begins to move (provided the time stopped is 3 seconds or less).3 After 3 seconds the driver must re-engage the system.
Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection 4 A radar sensor and forward-facing camera scan the road ahead, and if they detect an impending rear-end collision, the driver receives an audible alert and a visual warning on the windshield. In addition, the brake pedal's action is made more sensitive to provide maximum stopping power when applied. If the driver does not brake in time, the brakes will apply automatically. This can also be helpful in the event a pedestrian crosses in front of the vehicle.
Lane-Keeping System: A forward-facing camera in the inside rearview mirror tracks the lane markings on the road and if the driver starts to drift too close to a lane marker, the system applies a steering torque to aid the driver in steering back into their lane. If the drifting continues, then the steering wheel vibrations occur. Activating the turn signal, driving slower than 40 mph, or quickly accelerating or braking will temporarily disable the system.
Blind Spot Information System with Trailer Coverage: Ford abbreviates this mouthful into BLIS, the truck's ability to detect a vehicle in the driver's blind spot and signal with a yellow light in the rearview mirror.
BLIS can be especially helpful for 2018 F-150 drivers who tow trailers, as its detection range can be extended behind the truck for the length of the trailer (up to 33 feet). Rearward visibility is challenging when towing, even when the truck is equipped with the proper towing mirrors, so BLIS is valuable to keep tabs on surrounding traffic.
Cross-Traffic Alert: The Cross-Traffic Alert feature can detect a vehicle passing behind the truck when it's in reverse.
SAFETY AS STANDARD
Some safety features have been on cars and trucks for so long that they're almost taken for granted. But each serves a specific function in protecting the driver and passengers.
For the 2018 F-150, that level of built-in safety begins with the truck's solid foundation: a fully boxed ladder frame has large cross-sections. So, while the F-150's body and bed are made from high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloy, there's still a steel backbone underpinning the alloy body.
Integrated into the truck's chassis are several standard safety features. All F-150 models are equipped with antilock brakes at all four wheels, to enhance stopping performance during panic-braking or inclement-weather situations.
Each wheel is fitted with a tire-pressure monitor that will alert the driver if one of the tires is low. This is important information, as underinflated tires can not only reduce fuel economy, but they can more easily overheat and fail.
Ford AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control uses sensors to monitor vehicle stability and then applies the brakes or cuts throttle as needed to help the driver maintain control over the truck. Another standard safety feature, Curve Control, also uses electronic sensors to monitor the truck, in this case while it's turning, and will brake or pull back throttle to return to safe cornering speeds.5
For passenger protection during a collision, there are a number of airbags placed within the F-150's cabin: in front of the front-seat driver and passenger, in the sides of the front and passenger seats, and side-curtain airbags.
Ford has safety belts in all of the F-150's seating positions in every body style (regular, SuperCab and SuperCrew). In the SuperCrew models available rear outboard inflatable safety belts are designed to inflate upon impact, to better distribute crash-force energy across more of the torso than a standard belt.
And all F-150 models are equipped with a rear-view camera, positioned in the tailgate, to give drivers a clear view of what (or who) is behind them while in reverse. The camera can be supplemented by the optional Reverse Sensing System, which triggers an audible alert should the bumper-mounted sensors detect an object behind the truck. The alert sound becomes more frequent and louder the closer the truck comes to the object.
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