All of which is to say, the F-Series is vital to Ford, and it's not the kind of thing you mess with lightly. But the company knows things are changing. Batteries and motors instead of large V-8s could give designers new freedoms like multiple axles and minimal hoods. Self-driving tech could free people from car ownership, letting them summon their required vehicle when necessary. Humanity's relationship with the automobile is evolving, and so the automobile must evolve as well.
So in September, Ford turned to a group of students at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies, setting the aspiring automotive designers a challenge to design a “Future Truck,” asking them to brainstorm new directions for America's favorite vehicle. Now Ford has selected three winners who get a $3,000 scholarship to help with their studies and, perhaps more valuably, get their work in front of a team of other industry execs.