Automotive technology continues to grow as the era of the smartphone, artificial intelligence, and digital assistants begin to find their way into our vehicles. In this article, we take a look at the future of pickup truck technology and where it is and where it may go.
The Next-Generation Pickup Truck
Research and development is going on behind the scenes in all the major car manufacturers’ think tanks, helping us shift into a new era that can (and likely will) include:
- Electric trucks (Ford has suggested this for the 2020 Ford F-150)
- Hybrid fuel power
- Cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels
- Driver assist computerized safety sensors that cover a wider range and function
- Smart technology that can integrate into light-duty and heavy-duty trucks
- Increasingly autonomous vehicles
Many more future innovations are on the horizon. With the bright minds of our technology experts combined with the ingenuity of modern design capabilities, we are in for some sweeping improvements that will help keep the planet clean.
The bygone days of trucks being just for farmers and tradespeople are long gone. Pickup trucks are on the front lines of innovation in technology. It might have been a slow start while each of these companies found its bearings, but now that they are here each one promises amazing things for consumers.
New Tech for a New Truck
Ford is once again making waves with the upcoming innovations for the 2020 F-150. The manufacturer has been known in the past for sticking to tried-and-tested tech, but this is about to change with the hybrid F-150. The company is flipping the script that most consumers expect from Ford as a company. It isn’t just about being the strongest truck around anymore. Even its commercials are starting to reflect that.
Not only will the new hybrid F-150 be a boon to the environment, but it will also bring new interest to the field of green vehicles. In North American sales, there is a lack of purchasing interest for a hybrid, especially in a truck. Ford is looking to change that mindset by using the technology to increase performance while boosting fuel economy. Ford is doing its research and adding in features that matter to the average F-150 driver.
Ford is not only keeping all the mechanical innovation that has made them the name to beat in trucks, but now they are adding all the fun and function that comes with a hybrid engine. There is going to be instant torque, which is something that is lacking in the current models.
As an added bonus, Ford is considering adding in an option to use the gas and electric engine as a portable generator. You will no longer need to go out and purchase an extra generator to take to and from job sites. It will be an all-in-one package to meet the pressing needs of the consumer.
Competition on the Horizon
Ford is making these innovations partly to service a new brand of consumer and in part to compete in an ever-changing market.
Tesla has announced that it is looking to come out with its own pickup truck in the near future. Tesla has already made a name for itself when it comes to the electric engine, so they are on the frontlines of this sort of product. If they can match their technology with the designs coming out of the drafter’s offices, they are set to conquer a large part of the market.
Each well-known truck company and a few new companies are trying to make their mark on the industry of pickup trucks. With price tags starting at $35,000 for a base model, these companies are stretching boundaries to make sure the consumer feels like they got their money’s worth.
Unibody designs are making their way onto more engineer drafting boards. These make for a sleek design that evokes the innovation contained within those hybrid and electric engines. From a practical standpoint, it also offers a cleaner look and makes the vehicle better at resisting road dust and salt. It is giving the discerning consumer what they have always wanted from a truck body.
Even simple changes outside the engine are becoming almost expected on newer pickup models. The average consumer now wants all bells and whistles to come standard in their truck. Gone are the days of step-sides and manual tailgates; today’s trucks have automatic steps. The interior of the trucks on the market and upcoming 2020 models rival the luxury of some sports cars.
It isn’t just the amenities of nice leather and cool design that are coming for upcoming pickup trucks. With the advancements each company is making in engine design, especially in the field of hybrid and electric engines, the amount of horsepower and torque is astounding. When the Ram TRX can deliver 707 horsepower and heavy-duty trucks can effortlessly tow over 20,000 pounds, there is no question that pickup trucks are reconsidering their place in the vehicle world.
Efficient, Smart Trucks
With such increased awareness of the possibilities that lie ahead, the auto industry has taken bold moves and invested countless millions into designing prototypes of vehicles that have an entirely new level of efficiency, safety, and comfort.
The pickup trucks of the future are in line to take advantage of all these changes. With pickups such as the Ford F-150, which continues to be the #1 selling vehicle on the planet, pickup truck technology will certainly be able to play a bold part in the outlay of future smart and ecologically sound transportation technology.
It’s an exciting time to be witnessing such growing wealth of technology and to be part of a transition to a completely new level of efficacy in transportation and all the secondary industries that small truck transport vehicles drive and support.