Ford has developed a technology which uses artificial intelligence to hitch a truck and trailer at the press of a button. The Pro Trailer Hitch Assist solution helps users to align the hitch with the trailer coupler from the cabin while controlling the truck’s speed, steering and braking.
The solution, which uses a rear camera and corner radars, is available for the F-150, F-150 Lightning and the new F-Series Super Duty. By pressing and holding a button, occupants can monitor the hitching process via the vehicle’s large central display.
Machine learning technology detects the hitch ball, trailer and coupler at distances of up to 20ft, and as the truck reverses toward the trailer, the system determines the best path.
Once the driver has verified that the coupler is positioned higher than the hitch ball, the truck’s control algorithms steer the truck, lining it up so the hitch ball can be positioned directly under the trailer’s coupler ready for a connection to be made.
The Pro-Trailer Hitch Assist technology was developed entirely in-house by Ford’s ADAS team.
“Pro Trailer Hitch Assist is another smart solution to save time for our customers,” said John Emmert, Ford Truck general manager. “Instead of struggling to hitch a trailer alone or with a spotter, customers can now get hitched more confidently and on their way to the lake or a jobsite.”