The 2021 Ford F-150 Might Get More Efficient Like Magic

The Ford F-150 doesn’t have to do much to sell well. It is a platform that buyers trust and want to keep buying year in and year out. While the 2021 Ford F-150 isn’t an all-new truck, it does have some new features that improve on the previous year’s model. The 2021 model has an optional, massive 12-inch center console display with the new Ford infotainment system and, of course, the coolest truck feature ever, the onboard power generator. One of the coolest and most practical features of the 2021 Ford F-150 is receiving updates over the air. I guess it makes enough sense, seeing as how phones and computers do it, but it feels so futuristic to think of a truck doing it. 

The 2021 Ford F-150 is the preferred whip for the Jetsons

The Mach-E was the first model from Ford’s lineup that offers over-the-air updates, and now the Ford F-150 is the second. Interesting choice to give it to the F-150, but I reckon Ford understands their market. Giving this ability to the F-150 will likely free up tons of working hours for mechanics by not having to physically deal with every single F-150 sold that needs an update. Motor1 says that around 50-60 modules in the truck can be updated over the air without visiting a mechanic in person. 

2021 Ford F-150 on a farm with plants loaded in the truck bed
2021 Ford F-150 | Ford

In an increasingly automated, and as of 2020, physically-distanced world, this seems like a timely feature. Motor1 references an article from MuscleCarsAndTrucks detailing the types of updates that drivers could expect. Some updates are standard recalibrations of ECU programming, while others are a bit more extreme, like adding entire new driving modes to the F-150. Some updates may take longer than others to become active, but it’s clear that options are vast.

We have the technology 

The F-150’s Chief Engineer Craig Schmatz mentions that the 2021 F-150 has the hardware for things like the Active Drive Assist and the software to make it, so it should be available by summer. He goes on to say, “We’ll push it [updates] over the air. Even small things that aren’t on the truck today… Let’s say we had a new powertrain calibration, and we found a new way to get a bit more fuel economy; we can push that.” 

A grey 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost towing a boat on highway
2021 Ford F-150 towing a boat | Photo via Ford

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Still, the wildest part of all of this is that these updates are simply sent to the owner without ever going to the dealership. For those who are wary of updates, Schmatz says, “The download won’t happen unless customers schedule it and accept it when it’s ready to be updated. Maximum downtime is 30 minutes.” It is an exercise in convenience and maintenance ease. 

The 2021 Ford F-150 also has other rad updates

Depending on the configuration, the new F-150 can become quite an impressive vehicle. The 2021 F-150 PowerBoost is an actual work truck that is also pretty fast. It comes with an onboard generator built-in. This is the best idea any truck has ever had. You can run an electric heater while working with a chainsaw and the truck’s motor only turns over to power the generator intermittently. The generator has a ton of handy features like a simple on-off switch, low-power outlets, and safety alerts for when the engine might start if you are working inside—what a strong feature for any utility vehicle.

The hybrid version has the V6 twin-turbo Powerboost engine that makes an incredible 430 hp. Keep in mind that we aren’t talking about a Raptor or TRX or something like that; this is a good ol’ fashioned work truck. Well, maybe not so ole’ fashioned, but you get it.