Among the most immediately evident technological updates in the new Ford F-150 are the digital displays of the truck. We had no pictures to share when our coverage was released on Thursday, but Ford sent a couple of short clips showing the new UI for the digital main dashboard and its latest Sync 4 infotainment system. So we decided to share them with you now. You can take a look at the gallery above or watch the couple of embedded video clips below.
12.3-inch main instrument display
The F-150 isn’t the first Ford to get a fully digital dash; you can find a 12-inch display instead of old-fashioned dials in the new Mustangs and the Mustang Mach-E electric crossover uses a 10-inch display in front of the driver. The 12.3-inch screen facing you in a 2021 F-150 looks more elegant than any of these stangs, though:
“The idea is that it presents the information in a very direct way so that it behaves almost like a porter. So it presents the most important information and is able to move things in a digital environment to make room for other content that may be most important, “said Mark Sich, Ford’s F-150 digital designer. Moving away from a skeuomorphic user interface required some tests with Ford truck customers, Sich told Ars. “What we found was that as long as the information is presented in a real, digestible, understandable, hierarchical way, they were willing to really make that leap of confidence.”
“In terms of how information is represented for the driver, I think we are rapidly reaching this turning point:” We still have to be founded on the tradition and legacy of what we are looking at in terms of representing the analogous calibres now with pixels? ‘”said Peter Ruthenberg, chief designer of the digital experience at Ford.
“I think for the F-150 customer, through a human-centered design process and a lot of iterative research here, we found that this generation of at least F-150 customers wasn’t ready for a big leap towards something that strays from physical meters, “said Ruthenberg when Ars recently spoke to Ford designers. “These types of indicators are still in resonance with them, they heard the information. But potentially along the way for future products, we may want to make bigger leaps of confidence. I think at the moment we are a little bit in this bridged territory between analog and digital and what it means “.
Towards the end of the dashboard video, you will notice that the avatar of the truck on the dashboard changes depending on the driving mode you are in. This is actually rendered in real time, not pre-recorded, which according to Ford is the only way to have this level of dynamic animation and transitions as the driver switches between truck modes.
Sync 4 looks different here compared to Mustang Mach-E
This year’s F-150 and Mustang Mach-E are both recipients of Ford’s latest infotainment platform, Sync 4. But it looks very different in the two vehicles. Mach-E uses a huge 15-inch infotainment screen and sports a tile-based user interface with a physical jog wheel on the screen. In the F-150, things seem a little more conventional, although the optional 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system still dominates the center console of this much larger dashboard.
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