Ask someone why he or she purchased their pickup, and they will probably say they use it for carrying cargo or towing a trailer. Manufacturers are realizing that people are increasingly using their vehicles for both work and play, and with recent innovations in materials and technology have made the interiors of trucks really nice places to frequent.
From Ford F-150's MyFord Touch communications and entertainment system to Uconnect in the Dodge Ram, here is a closer look at some cutting-edge gadgetry found in today's trucks.
Ford F-150 — MyFord Touch
Image source: Ford.ca
The MyFord Touch
system is found across Ford's lineup, customized for each vehicle. Based on a Microsoft platform, it allows you to control vehicle settings (climate, audio, navigation) and/or a synced electronic device via your voice, buttons on the steering wheel and dash, or directly from the main screen.
It also provides full Wi-Fi capability turning the truck into an Internet hotspot. On the F-150, the buttons are designed so they are easily operable while wearing work gloves and there is a larger screen for improved readability.
Chevrolet Silverado — MyLink
Image source: GM.ca
Ease-of-use is the main selling point of the Chevrolet Silverado MyLink
infotainment system. A customizable home screen displayed on the eight-inch monitor allows drivers quick access to their most-used features like Pandora Internet Radio or OnStar navigation.
Voice recognition is available as well, and there are plenty of connectivity options for your smartphone like Bluetooth or USB. The system is equipped with Gracenote technology that identifies the music on whatever device is connected and instantly indexes the songs, assigning voice tags making them easily searchable by voice.
Ram — Uconnect
Image source: RAMtruck.ca
Like some of the other systems offered, Uconnect
is a control centre for in-vehicle entertainment, cellphone functions and navigation. But it also offers a subscription service for premium access to things like downloadable software and an emergency service that can dial 911 independently without being connected to a phone. You can also pair your smartphone to the Uconnect app and track your truck if it's stolen, know when your alarm goes off, or lock/unlock the doors and start the engine.
If it's been a few years since you've upgraded to something new, all the bells and whistles offered in today's modern pickup can be overwhelming. The technology is only as good as the driver's ability to use them so consult the manufacturer's websites to decide which systems are best suited for your needs.
About the Author
Benjamin Yong is a freelance writer and journalist based in B.C. Canada. He writes and shoots photos for a number of local and national publications, often focusing on cars and the automotive industry, news, arts and culture and interesting people.