Ford Takes the Fun Out of Off-Roading with Trail Control for the 2019 Ford Raptor
Do you really want a robot calling the shots out there?by Jonathan Lopez, on
Off-roading can be a lot of fun - from exploring the great outdoors, to finding the right line through a challenging bit of terrain, to extracting every ounce of capability from your vehicle, it’s just the right activity to get away from it all. Now, Ford hopes to make it more accessible with its new Trail Control system for the 2019 F-150 Raptor, which the company likens to “cruise control for off-road driving.” Color us skeptical.
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The Ford F-150 Raptor is best known as a Trophy Truck for the road, offering extreme off-roading capability in a package that won’t have the neighbors crying to the HOA. That’s certainly the case for the up-and-coming 2019 model year, but this time around, Ford is stuffing it with a new feature that should make for an even easier time in the rough stuff.
It’s called the Trail Control system, and Ford shows what it can do in the above-featured 1-minute, 23-second video.
Essentially, the system takes over the braking and the throttle inputs, enabling the driver to concentrate entirely on steering.
Ford says you can activate it at speeds between 1 and 20 mph, which means that crawling up a jagged hill and smoother flat ground are both handled with ease.
“The new feature can help overcome steep obstacles by automatically directing torque to each wheel then braking to smoothly bring the truck down on the other side,” Ford explains. “It also can help in digging the truck out if it happens to get stuck in extreme sand.”
Nothing worse than Mountain Dew-swilling, base-jumping extreme sand, am I right?
Ford says Trail Control makes off-roading even more enjoyable, but we can’t help but wonder if the lower challenge kills the experience.
Don’t get us wrong - we can certainly see what Ford is trying to do here. The idea of making off-roading more accessible is a noble cause, no doubt about it, but to be completely honest, we find “cruise control” for the trails to be a bit ridiculous.
After all, if you go off-roading, isn’t the whole point to take total control of your vehicle and make it perform to the best of your ability? We feel like this is akin to offering something like “Drag Racing Autopilot” on the Mustang…
And yes, you obviously don’t have to use Trail Control, but still, we find the whole thing pretty silly.
Regardless, you can get it on the 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor, slated for a release later this year. The system will also be available on the 2019 Ford Ranger.
Read our full review on the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor.
Read our full review on the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor.
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