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Pickup trucks have come quite a long way since they were simple workhorses. Many now have 360-degree cameras, leather interiors, and price tags that can climb well over $60k. But it looks like Ford has taken things to the next level with F-Series trucks that can hitch a trailer with the push of a button. And the feature is available on the Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup. 

What is Pro Trailer Hitch Assist?

Pro Trailer Hitch Assist is a feature on Ford F-Series trucks that allows drivers to easily hitch up a trailer. Instead of having to get out, check alignment, and do a whole production, you can now line up the hitch ball to a trailer coupler with the push of a button. 

The system is available on trucks like the F-150 Lightning, and it uses artificial intelligence, computer vision, and some machine learning to hitch a trailer. This may seem like technology from the future, but it looks like it’s going to be here sooner rather than later. 

The Ford F-150 Lightning tows a trailer. With Pro Trailer Hitch Assist, it can actually help automatically hitch a trailer.
2023 Ford F-150 Lightning | Ford

The Blue Oval has stated that it can detect a trail from about 20 feet, and there are sensors in place to prevent accidents. Now, what has me curious is this whole computer learning thing. 

Sure, it is a cool feature, but is saving some time worth risking privacy? I guess time will tell how many folks opt to add this tech to their F-Series trucks. According to CBS News, Tesla is currently in hot water for allegedly sharing customer footage. 

Can the Ford F-150 Lightning tow?

The simple answer is yes, the Ford F-150 Lightning can tow up to 10,000 lbs. In order to get to that number, you’ll need to configure your electric truck in a certain way, and it won’t really be all that cheap. 

The real-world performance might tell a bit of a different tale, though. The folks over at MotorTrend tried towing with an F-150 Lightning, and the results were less than impressive. Not because this EV can’t tow but the significant range depletion that towing can cause. 

The publication towed an 8,500-lb trailer with the Ford Lightning, and apparently, it couldn’t even make it 100 miles. So that is definitely a trade-off to consider when it comes to towing with an electric pickup truck. 

That said, folks have actually been using their F-150 Lightning trucks to do truck stuff. Studies show that owners tend to haul and tow more than the owner of a traditional F-Series truck. 

A 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck tows a trailer behind it.
Ford Lightning | Ford

The test was done with a 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning, so maybe in the future, the Blue Oval will figure out how to increase towing range. But that is kind of a sacrifice that comes with getting an electric truck, at least with current battery technology. 

Trucks are only getting more advanced

Even gasoline trucks are becoming more and more advanced in 2023. I’ve had the opportunity to be behind the wheel of the 2022 Toyota Tundra and even heavy-duty trucks like the current-gen Ford F-250. 

The interior of Toyota's full-size truck, the 2022 Tundra.
Toyota Tundra Capstone | Eric Boman, MotorBiscuit

The camera systems and what these trucks are capable of are sort of mind-blowing. And that is especially true if you have not been inside a pickup built in recent years. Now, add being able to hitch a trailer automatically to the list, and least for some Ford trucks.

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