The next day, Ford released a press release about the cool technologies of the 2023 Ford F-Series Super Duty. These include a head-up display Ford claims was inspired by fighter jets and the Pro Trailer Hitch Assist system, which uses machine learning to simplify towing. Considering the 2023 Ford F-Series Super Duty lineup was announced last year and started deliveries a month ago, these features are nothing new. Still, it goes well with Jim Farley's angst about the upcoming Tesla Cybertruck.
The fighter jet-inspired Head-Up Display projects information in front of the driver on the lower half of the windshield. Drivers can choose from three views – Normal Mode, Tow-Haul Mode, or Off-Road Mode – to see the information most important to their trip. Each view changes automatically when a new drive mode is selected. The Normal Mode is like most HUDs, displaying info such as speed and navigation prompts. Tow-Haul Mode changes to include tachometer, gear, and trailer brake output. Finally, the Off-Road Mode displays the tachometer, drive line status, and vehicle pitch and roll info.
Ford knows that over 90% of Heavy Duty pickup owners use their trucks to tow, and the Super Duty has best-in-class towing characteristics. Still, drivers can hitch a trailer much easier with the optional Pro Trailer Hitch Assist system, exclusive to the Ford F-Series. The trucks also include Onboard Scales with Smart Hitch, which can estimate payload in real-time.
The Pro Trailer Hitch Assist system automatically identifies trailer hitches and aligns the truck's hitch ball to a conventional trailer coupler with the touch of a button. It uses a rear camera and rear corner radars to align the hitch with the trailer coupler while simultaneously controlling the truck's speed, steering, and braking on behalf of the driver or operator.
Ford wants us to believe that advanced tech makes its Super Duty models become productivity workhorses. The latest generation is the most connected Super Duty ever, with an embedded 5G modem that allows seamless over-the-air updates. Still, I bet "real people who do real work" couldn't care less about 5G or a head-up display when they need to haul heavy stuff day in and day out. Most would appreciate their workhorse trucks being as simple as possible to eliminate the risks of malfunction. This reminds me that Ford already announced the first Super Duty recall for a steering column issue.