Trucks

2019 Ford Ranger puts radar in its taillights to aid trailer towing

Regular blind-spot monitors might have trouble seeing behind a connected trailer.

Ford

Sharing parts between vehicles doesn't always mean that an automaker is cheap. Sometimes, that tech can be genuinely useful and give the vehicle an advantage in its segment, as is the case with the 2019 Ford Ranger pickup.

Ford announced on Tuesday that the 2019 Ranger's XLT and Lariat trims will come standard with the same kind of blind-spot monitoring found on its bigger brother, the F-150. Now, that might not seem like much of anything -- blind-spot monitoring is on a whole bunch of cars these days -- but Ford's system goes above and beyond the usual.

While most cars relegate blind-spot monitoring to the side mirrors, Ford gets the taillights involved. The taillights themselves house additional radar emitters, which can be used while towing a trailer to expand the blind-spot monitor's reach.

Setting the system up is pretty easy. Just hook up the trailer like normal, then head inside the cabin and use the gauge cluster screen to set the trailer's length, and that's it. The monitors will use the trailer's length to determine how to set up the zones that will trigger the blind spot monitor.

The standard Ford Ranger should be arriving at dealers around the beginning of 2019, but we're holding out for the Ranger Raptor. It hasn't been confirmed for the US yet, but just like the F-150-based Raptor, the Ranger's hardcore variant gets beefy Fox Racing Shox dampers, stronger steel in the frame and a terrain-management system. European variants get a 2.0-liter, turbocharged diesel engine, but we imagine any US-spec Ranger Raptor would opt for a more traditional gas engine.