New Ford Pickup Truck Feature Makes Towing a Breeze
The Ford F-series is already the most popular truck in America. However, the Blue Oval folk are still dropping killer pickup truck features like they Wranglers got holes in the pockets. The PowerBoost first introduced the built-in power generator; then the truck bed scale changed the game again. Now, Ford says something called Ford Pro Trailer Hitch Assist will make hooking up a trailer easier than ever.
What is Ford Pro Trailer Hitch Assist?
Not to be confused with other techy pickup truck features, like Dynamic Hitch Assist or Pro Trailer Backup Assist, Ford Pro Trailer Assist helps truck drivers line up the tow ball with the trailer hitch. Anyone whos ever tried lining this up by yourself knows it can be a touch frustrating. Ford wants to help.
Ford’s press release starts with, “Pairing a truck and trailer can be tricky and often embarrassing if others are watching and waiting.” As Autoblog mentions, if there are people sitting around watching and waiting while you struggle to hook up a trailer, then they deserve to be inconvenienced. That is some sorry behavior. However, if you are in that situation, Ford might be your saving grace.
This system uses the rear camera, sensors, and “computer vision” to find the trailer hook up and guide the ball to it. The system can find its hookup at a distance of up to 20 feet. Once the system locates the trailer hookup, the driver puts the truck in the neutral position, holds the Pro Trailer button, and the truck does the rest. Once the truck is in position, an alert will pop on the screen reading: “Alignment complete. Connect the trailer.” All that’s left is for the driver to lower the trailer onto the ball.
What trucks can get Pro Trailer Hitch Assist?
The Ford F-150 with the Trailer Tow Package (a $1,325 option) or the Ford F-150 Lighting can both get the new pickup truck feature. Ford Super Duty trucks can also get the feature if they have the Tow Technology Package (a $925 option) on some trims.
What other new features are coming to Ford pickup trucks?
Ford says it gathered “a large volume of data” when creating the in-house truck feature. The Oval also pulled another 60 patents during development while trying to create the widest variety of work scenarios. Truck using the Pro Trailer Hitch Assist feature will keep uploading new data to the development team. Ford says, “Future trailer image data can be used to make the system better over time through Ford Power-Up software updates.”
Is Ford Pro Trailer Hitch Assist available?
The feature is available on properly equipped current 2023 models. Autoblog notes; the Director of technology communications Alan Hall told PC Mag the feature “will be pushed out via an over-the-air update to all 2021-22 F-Series trucks shortly.” However, this still requires that the trucks have the Pro Trailer Backup Assist that comes with those towing upgrade packages.