Tablets, smartphones, and apps get all of the attention in tech these days. And, we all know BMW and Audi make incredibly high-tech sedans. Yet, over the past two years, automakers have started adding some surprising tech features to trucks. One model can lower itself to help passengers step inside and to make it easier to load your gear at Home Depot. Another has the same lane-keeping tech you’d find in that BMW. Which one will impress your IT comrades the most?
1. 2015 Ford F-150
Ford made some dramatic tech improvements on the 2015 F-150, but the one that surprised me the most during a recent test drive had to do with lane-keeping. As you drive, the truck monitors the lane and keeps you centered. That’s becoming a common feature, but when you are pulling an Airstream Sport camper at the same time, it’s a godsend. Plus, the F-150 has adaptive cruise control to maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you.
2. 2015 Toyota Tundra
What’s most surprising about this high-tech truck is that it has a wide assortment of apps you can control through the touchscreen display. Known as Toyota Entune, the service lets you order movie tickets, make a reservation at a restaurant, or play a high quality audio stream from your iPhone or Android phone. Make sure you check to see if your phone is compatible.
3. 2015 RAM 1500
The RAM 1500 normally has 8.7-inches of ground clearance, but you can use the keyfob to change the height -- lowering the truck .6-inches for better aerodynamics or lower it by two inches when you park (making it easier to load gear or climb aboard). The really high-tech aspect has to do with automatic sensing. You can make manual adjustments, but if you forget, the truck will read what you have loaded (say, a bunch of plywood) and adjust as needed.
4. 2015 GMC Sierra
My favorite feature on this high-tech truck has nothing to do with hauling plywood or adaptive cruise control. Inside the cab, you can enable a Wi-Fi sharing feature from OnStar that runs in 4G. (The only other automaker who offers that high-speed service is Audi.) It’s particularly useful when you take a family trip, because everyone can connect up with a tablet or laptop.
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