Let’s be honest many people find it difficult to reverse a trailer. Be it a box trailer, boat or caravan it’s an unnatural technique to master. To get it right the front wheels need to be turned in the opposite intended direction of the trailer. Many can nail this, most can’t. Checkout the scenes at a weekend boat ramp and you’ll see my point.
Remarkably Ford has created a system known as Pro Trailer Backup Assist. Factory installed on the 2016 Ford F-150 it allows the driver to steer the trailer while the vehicle does the rest.
Much like Park Assist Systems found in many cars these days the process involves automation of the steering via a series of sensors. You simply twist a dial to the left or right keeping an eye on the trailer via the reverse camera and side mirrors.
The steering wheel takes on a life of its own while you feather the throttle and brakes as required.
The system is quite sensitive and takes a few minutes to master, but I was soon piloting what is a monster truck (by Australian standards) and longish trailer like a master. Let’s hope the technology finds its way Down Under sooner rather than later.
— Chris Bowen (@TheBowen) June 25, 2015
Chris travelled to San Francisco as a guest of Ford