Those who know anything about trailering are surely all aware of “jack-knifing.” That’s the colloquial term for backing in a trailer with too much steering angle, causing the trailer to run out of angle and impact the truck – or, at the very least, to scrub.
It’s a phenomenon that even the pros encounter every once in a while, which is part of the universal appeal of a new system coming to the 2016 Ford F-150 full-size pickup, called “Pro Trailer Backup Assist.”
In truth, the system’s name perhaps sells it a little short; Pro Trailer Backup Assist doesn’t so much assist the truck’s driver in reversing and placing the trailer, as it does the task for him. When activated, the driver need only turn a knob to communicate how far in which direction the trailer should travel. The truck then automatically turns the steering wheel to make it so, limiting the backup speed to help mitigate user error even further.
The Pro Trailer Backup Assist system is further aided by Ford’s existing Dynamic Hitch Assist, which generates a trajectory overlay on the backup camera display to show F-150 drivers precisely where the trailer is headed at the current steering angle.
Ford Truck Group Marketing Manager Doug Scott remarked that “Pro Trailer Backup Assist is a smart solution to save time and increase productivity for our customers. Instead of struggling to back up their trailer, they can spend more time on the job or enjoying the lake.”