For decades now, the big truck manufacturers have been fighting each other in an ever-growing arms race for top numbers. It only takes a quick look at advertising from Ford, GM, and Ram to see they’ve been battling with towing and payload capacities, horsepower, and torque. When you look at models like the 2022 Ford F-150 vs the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500, who comes out on top?
From year to year, the numbers change and the winner shifts. Sometimes, auto brands brag about a difference of just a few horsepower or 10 lbs of towing weight. But now, you can see a battle emerging for a new top number: screen size.
In a country where more than 3,000 people died in 2019 due to distracted driving, the race is on to pack the most and largest screens possible into pickup trucks—trucks that weigh several tons, driving at speeds faster than the human mind can effectively appreciate or react to, while potentially pulling many more tons of weight behind them.
I, for one, applaud this kind of innovation. Who doesn’t want a truck with advanced safety features designed to avoid collisions while simultaneously creating more opportunities for distractions and crashes than ever before?
The 2022 Ford F-150
So how do the numbers look right now? Well, the 2022 Ford F-150 starts off with an 8-in infotainment display, which is decent but certainly not revolutionary. Fortunately, there’s a 12-in screen available to give you a lot more screen area to take in. You know, rather than wasting your time by looking at the traffic around you. To go along with this, there’s also a 12-in digital driver display—a small screen just past the steering wheel exclusively for the driver’s enjoyment.
At the moment, unfortunately, this driver display is pretty much just a fancy version of the traditional instrument cluster. You get digital gauges and meters—all that good stuff. With any luck, however, in the future we might get some streaming services to pipe the latest movies and TV shows into the driver display. If I can’t binge a season of the latest Marvel show on Disney+ while flying down the highway at 80mph, then why am I spending $60,000 on a new F-150!?
The 2022 Chevy Silverado
All of the details on the latest Chevy Silverado are still forthcoming, but we do have a few specs that have my eyes positively salivating. A 13.4-in infotainment display is available on the 2022 Silverado, giving you even more to look at instead of the car in front of you.
To go with this, a redesigned, 12.3-in digital driver display also provides a larger screen so you keep your eyes inside the Silverado. Clearly, this is the superior truck that was designed by people who understand my needs as a driver—and the basic human rights we all deserve. Features are aplenty, so you can scroll through apps, find a coffee shop, toggle your driver settings, and even find a delightful ebook while driving. So what if you find yourself barrelling straight toward a lake?
The best news of all, however, is that this is just where we stand right now. Things look brighter in the years to come. Both Ford and Chevy already offer head-up display options that project information onto the windshield, but I hope they really lean into this and turn the entire windshield into a display. My buddy Jerry already rigged something similar by strapping a 60-in HDTV across the front of his truck. (It sure worked well, and I really miss that guy.) Once we have self-driving cars, I have no doubt we’ll get the digital streaming experience on the road that we all deserve, complete with commercials and subscriptions!
Editor’s Note: Both Ford and Chevy strongly recommend that drivers remain focused on the road, of course, and that these displays and any entertaining content on them are purely for viewing by passengers. If you should happen to glance at an infotainment display while driving, and it should happen to feature an advertisement that you can touch to make a purchase and give money to a company the manufacturer has a partnership with, then they assure us that’s none of their business. Thank you, and good luck to you.