At one end of the vehicle-living scale you have those who worry about overloading their rigs but are far from exceeding load capacity. At the other end are those whose rolling homes are so overloaded the springs have bottomed out and driving is, oh, an “interesting” experience.
Diligent nomads can find public scales and weigh their loads, then weigh their options. But that’s not always convenient.
Now the big brains at Ford have come up with a clever solution. The taillights on their new pickup trucks are wired to weight sensors. Four small lights built into the lenses indicate how heavily—or lightly—the truck is loaded.
Smart taillamps operate like the battery charge indicator on a mobile phone, displaying the percentage of payload capacity by illuminating LEDs arranged in a built-in vertical bar. As the truck is loaded, all four lights illuminate, showing it’s fully loaded. If the truck is overloaded, the top lights blink. The maximum payload based on the pickup’s configuration is programmed into the system.
Someday in the future, when sensors like this become common, there might be more than a few nomads alarmed to learn that, just as in death, they can’t take it all with them. At least not in that vehicle.