Adaptive cruise control not only maintains a set speed, but also accelerates and brakes a car to follow the flow of traffic. It’s the kind of feature you’d expect to find on a luxury car or a well-equipped mainstream model, but what about a heavy duty pickup truck?
The 2017 Ford Super Duty has adaptive cruise control that works even when the truck is towing a 31,500-pound trailer. It’s one of numerous driver assistance and tech features Ford piled on in its recent redesign of the Super Duty, and part of a trend toward higher-tech trucks.
The Super Duty’s adaptive cruise control system uses radar to track vehicles ahead, and works at speeds above 20 mph whether the truck is driving solo or towing a trailer. On models equipped with the 6.7-liter diesel V8, the system works with the integrated engine brake to help slow the truck while saving wear on the mechanical brakes. Adaptive cruise control is also connected to the Super Duty’s trailer brake controller, so it can activate a trailer’s brakes as well.
The 2017 Super Duty is also available with adaptive steering, another feature that’s relatively common on cars but new to big trucks. Adaptive steering changes the steering ratio on the fly, which effectively adds or reduces the amount of steering effort needed. Ford believes this will make the Super Duty more maneuverable in low-speed driving situations, such as navigating parking lots, and make towing easier by making the steering less sensitive at higher speeds.
Adaptive cruise control and adaptive steering are just the tip of the tech iceberg, though. The 2017 Super Duty will also be available with Trailer Reverse Guidance, a system that uses seven cameras and real time coaching to make maneuvering a trailer easier. Blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning will be offered as well.
The 2017 Ford Super Duty goes on sale later this year. Adaptive cruise control will only be available on the higher-level Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum models. Availability of other features will be detailed closer to the truck’s launch.