Throughout the year, I drive a lot of cars and trucks. I mean a lot. In addition to the week-long loans that come in for review, I also attend media events and drives across the country to drive the latest and greatest. Lots of these vehicles have new technology on them designed to make driving easier, safer, or more enjoyable. It’s hard to pick a single technology that stands out, but this year I must say I was most impressed with Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist.
Pro Trailer Backup Assist comes with the towing package of the 2016 Ford F-150, and makes backing up a trailer easier than ever. The system places a knob on the dashboard that you turn instead of the steering wheel. By using the rear-view camera, you steer the trailer into place using the knob. The truck does all the calculations and small adjustments for you automatically.
It’s something that wouldn’t be possible without the latest cameras, sensors, and electric power-steering systems that are out there today. The onboard computer even knows the dimensions of the trailer (after you specify them once, of course) so it has all the data it needs to number crunch a perfect maneuver each and every time.
Ford winning for Pro Trailer Backup Assist and Truck Line of Texas at Truck Rodeo.
Die-hard truck enthusiasts might shun the technology, claiming that, “if you can’t back up a trailer, you shouldn’t be towing a trailer.” Well, I’ve been at the boat dock on a busy Saturday morning and I can tell you there are tons of people who need this assistance and it’s nice to see Ford innovating a solution to the problem.
Yes, there are other cool technologies I experienced over the past 12 months, but Pro Trailer Backup Assist is definitely a standout for me.