If you’ve hauled a trailer you know that learning to back it up is not fun. Getting the hang of turning your vehicle’s front wheels in the opposite direction the trailer needs to go takes time and patience.
In fact, even experienced trailer owners find this task challenging at times. Thankfully today’s vehicle assist technologies are making it easier than ever to tackle trailer maneuvering tasks. Volkswagen and Ford are leading the way with their own “Backup Assist” technology — and having fun showing it off!
Volkswagen Blows Your Mind with Backup Assist Commercial
Norweigans were baffled by this new Volkswagen ad that showcased the company’s Trailer Assist technology.
This fun ad did exactly what it was supposed to: it got the attention of everyone and left them wondering if Trailer Assist really worked as shown. Volkswagen had fun with this innovative ad, but later revealed that although the company’s technology is cutting-edge, it won’t do what special effects geeks managed to do on screen. Here’s how they did it:
European drivers lucky enough to own the Volkswagen Passat with Trailer Assist will find that it really does help drivers backup with precision and ease.
The driver just needs to put their vehicle in reverse, selects the “Park Assist” dashboard button then adjusts mirrors to reflect where the trailer needs to go. With hands off the wheel, their VW will steer automatically but the driver must be ready to shift gears, accelerate and hit the brakes.
According to MotorTrend, “An available external camera can be mounted on the trailer to see behind it while backing up.”
New Ford F150 Truck Has Backup Buddy Too
If you’re the proud owner of a 2016 Ford F150 pickup, you get a lot of bang for your buck, including a digital co-pilot that helps you look like an old pro when backing up your trailers.
The company’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist technology works by rotating a knob to indicate how much the system should turn the trailer. With your hands off the wheel, the Backup Assist will turn the trailer to your exact specs. It even knows how to adjust vehicle speed for a smoother ride on any surface.
Owners of the new F150 also enjoy a technology called “Curve Control.” Ford says this add-on “helps drivers maintain control of their vehicle by automatically reducing torque and applying four-wheel braking. This can reduce vehicle speed by up to 10 mph in approximately one second – assisting drivers in staying on their intended path.”
Driver assist technologies are popping up everywhere these days. Unfortunately automobile manufacturers have yet to create an assistant that can pump fuel at the gas station.