10 Sweet Driver-Assist Features on the Smarter 2015 Ford F-150
Adaptive Cruise, Massaging Seats Make the Jump to Pickups
The 2015 Ford F-150 is already shaping up to be a decent 1/2-ton truck, at least if our first drive is anything to go off of. At the Texas State Fair, Ford representatives advised us of 10 awesome available features that will make driving the F-150 safer, more convenient, and more comfortable, and here they are, in no particular order.
Like many other Ford models, the 2015 F-150 will be available with an active parking assist feature. This trick system uses two ultrasonic sensors to “look” for a parallel parking space large enough for the F-150. Once the system senses a fit, the truck’s electric power steering automatically maneuvers into place while the driver operates the shifter, brakes, and accelerator. The F-150 is the first truck in its class to be available with such technology.
Ford will also be the first manufacturer to offer adaptive cruise control in a 1/2-ton truck. This radar-based system will not only hold the truck at a preset speed, but it will automatically slow the vehicle to match the speed of a car traveling ahead to keep a consistent following distance. The truck will also sound a collision alert and precharge the brakes if it detects an impending crash.
Curve Control, which was introduced on the 2011 Ford Explorer, is another feature intended to keep the truck on the road, shiny side up. This system detects when the F-150 has entered a corner with too much speed and will apply the brakes while reducing torque.
Anyone who’s ever had to tow without a copilot will appreciate the smart trailer module that shows what lights on a trailer connected to the truck aren’t working. Figuring that out when you’re driving alone is next to impossible, and even if you’ve got an assistant, it’ll save him or her the trouble of standing behind the trailer and yelling at you when a light doesn’t illuminate.
This author is most excited to try out the F-150’s class-exclusive massaging seats. Multi-contour seats used to be the sole domain of $80,000 luxury sedans, so the idea of a lux’d pickup that can offer a backrub is pretty enticing.
Other practical features include a tire-pressure monitoring system that shows the air pressure of each individual tire, which makes keeping tires safely and properly inflated even easier.
For a vehicle as large as the F-150, the available 360-degree camera should be standard equipment. Alas, it’s actually an optional extra, but that might be a box worth ticking, as it will give the driver a front, side, and rear view of the truck’s surroundings. This feature will help the driver maneuver in tight spaces, like a city parking garage or backcountry fire road.
Also helping in off-road situations is available hill-descent control, which will hold the F-150 at a safe, slow speed using the anti-lock brakes while traveling down a steep grade. In other vehicles, this feature adds confidence to off-road driving, and there’s no reason to think it would be any different in the F-150.
So there you have it. Honestly, none of the features are groundbreaking industry firsts, and truck purists may turn up their noses at such sissy features that make driving too easy. But we say that there’s no reason not to make driving safer and more convenient, and if you want some of these features in your 1/2-ton, then the 2015 F-150 may be your only choice for now.