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Ford has been on a roll with new and exciting tech, first with the launch of their hands-free driving system “Blue Cruise”, then with the release of the F-150 Lightning EV.
Now, they’ve unveiled a new off-roading system: Trail Control. According to MotorTrend, the system will assist drivers with throttle and brake control over rocky terrain, no matter their experience level.
What does Ford’s new off-roading actually system do?
Without any technology to help, off-roading adventures like rockcrawling and trail driving can be a difficult process of managing throttle, brake, obstacle avoidance, tire placement, and steering inputs. All of this put together makes for a harrowing journey unless you know exactly what you’re doing.
This is why automakers like Ford, Toyota, and Jeep have worked to create helpful off-roading systems. These systems essentially take over the throttle and brake, allowing the driver to focus solely on obstacles in their path.
Ford’s Trail Control offers a fine-tuned, highly controlled version of this. It works in both the 4-Hi or 4-Lo gears, allowing the car to go 1 mph and up to 20 mph.
The driver can adjust speed through the steering wheel touchpad in increments of .5 mph when in 4-Lo and increments of 2 mph in 4-Hi. 4-Lo has a high speed of 10 mph, and 4-Hi a max of 20 mph, at which point the system will disengage.
The most impressive part of this system, though, is the rate at which it measures wheel speed and slip. Trail Control analyses wheel speed and wheel slip as many as 10,000 times a second. This means it can adjust brake and throttle applications with extreme precision, so the driver doesn’t have to.
To disengage the system, the driver must touch the brakes several times or exceed 20 mph. This allows the driver to brake if needed without turning off the system. Ford built this system to be able to work with their Terrain Management System in order to compensate for any terrain while trail driving.
What other off-roading systems does Ford offer?
In addition to Trail Control, Ford has Trail Turn Assist and Trail One-Pedal Drive.
Trail Turn Assist helps with tight turns and acts to lock the rear inside tire when turning, which lets the car essentially pivot instead of turn. This cuts down a car’s turn radius quite a bit, assisting with turns on narrow roads and trails.
Trail One-Pedal Drive works to give the wheels massive amounts of torque by recalibrating the throttle. This is meant for extremely rocky situations or driving over boulders because the torque allows the car to move forward at a very controlled pace when throttle is applied. When the throttle is released, the system will automatically engage brake torque and slow the car again.
What vehicles are these systems available on?
Since most of these systems are meant for serious off-roading, Trail Turn Assist and Trail One-Pedal Drive are only available with the Bronco, F-150 Tremor and Raptor.
However, Trail Control is now offered with the Tremor off-road package on any of Ford pickups, from F-150s to SuperDutys and Rangers.
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