well shit, skimmed through the article and doesnt mention pickup trucks specifically, just tow vehicles and trailer weight, so it seemed to be more of a universal standard, oops...
not necessarily make the semi or the pickup faster, just match everything together for proper performance. You wouldnt tow a loaded race trailer with a Ford Ranger, yet the OTR drivers do the equivalent all the time. Many older trucks only have 250-350 hp and 800-1200 pounds of torque. No where near enough to move 80k pounds down the road safely. Then you look at the drum brakes (another thread on this recently) and some other things related to design and safety on the older semis and their overall performance just completely sucks ass.
The new pickups are pretty bad ass IMO and should have no trouble towing a heavy trailer safely, stopping it with large disc brakes, etc. Will be interested to see how this all plays out. Diesel Power did a big tow test not too long ago up and down some pretty steep passes (Colorado I think) and the differences between the trucks were relatively small.