High-Tech Backup System Headed Our Way

Trailer rev assist GW
By G.R. Whale

Audi’s electronics division is developing a trailer-reversing assistant planned to be offered on the next-generation Q7 SUV. At this time, it is not expected for the U.S. market, and Audi obviously doesn’t make pickups, but don’t be surprised to find something similar as an option on your SUV or light-duty pickup in the next few years.

The hands-free system is built around a tow ball with an outer-ring sensor in it. The system determines relative angle of trailer to tow vehicle. By using the reverse proximity sensors and some detailed algorithms, the driver uses the mirrors and/or backup camera in the navigation display and directs the trailer left or right into a spot by rotating the MMI control in the console. The self-steering function, similar to the function used by Ford, Lexus and now Audi, does all the vehicle steering while the driver simply controls speed using the pedals.

Unless you overspeed things, the system will maintain adequate vehicle/trailer clearance so it doesn’t jackknife into the bumper, and it calibrates automatically to trailers of different sizes. Beginners found it quite simple, and those who tow multiple trailers know that short trailers behind medium- and long-wheelbase vehicles are among the most difficult to maneuver.

Our friends at Road & Track also found the technology interesting, most likely thinking about hooking up their racecar trailers to an Audi press vehicle. 

Trailer rev audi GW

Trailer rev hand-free



Let us see how well that works when every inch of your truck is covered in mud or snow. If you can't back up a trailer you should not be towing one.
Road and Track liked it. Need anyone say more?

Oh please, just because technology makes life easier, doesn't mean people who embrace it can't get by without it.

this is junk and stait up lazy if you can't back up a trailer don't tow one

I would like to have more manual control in case a small object, a toddler running, darts behind the Caravan or SUV. Many have been seriously injured ding just that here.


Federal regulations take effect in 2014 that mandate ALL vehicles sold in the U.S. will be required to have backup camera's...

My 2010 Tacoma already has one in the tailgate with a small screen that appears in my rear-view mirror...

Get used to backup camera's...

Guess Oxi can't read very well. Its more then a backup camrea, it drives you're car/truck on sensors to back up you're trailer all on its own.

If you cant back up a car or truck you should not be driving !!!

People are getting to be worse drivers because of these devices ! If you cant back up a vehicle with your mirrors..park it and never drive again,thats what the bus is for,people who cant drive and are scared of driving !!

I see this as being good for the novice with the little cart at the garden center.

There would be no value to us that pull 40' trailers.

Just somemore electronics to go wrong or try to tell you when to turn and you know not yet.

"If you cant back up a car or truck you should not be driving !!!"

Let's bad-mouth some other technologies while we are at it! How about automatic transmissions, auto climate control, electric starters, computer controlled fuel mixture and computer controlled timing?

I say give it a chance. It 10 years it may have gone the way of steerable headlights and 4-wheel steer trucks or it may be so common that we don't even think about it anymore. Personally, I can't see having to use special trailer balls with complicated hookups. If they can get around that it has a much better chance of making it.

I love new tech gadgets and this has potential. Too many times I've seen rookie trailer owners tieing up roadways or smash into barriers while maneuvering a trailer back and forth.

It's ideas like this that create high paying jobs and our economy need jobs.

As far as mud etc it's easy to use camera sensors to alert the user of the systems' status.

I don't have a problem witht he function it's performing, but this special trailer ball with the built-in sensor ring and it's attendant wiring sounds like a frail bit of kit to me.

Anyone who trailers a lot knows it's hard enough keeping the wiring for lights/brakes work and now we have to worry about this thing? I wonder how long something like that would survive being pounded in and out of a rusty receiver?

In short: I bet they work great when they're new...

Would be nice for a trailer that is narrower than the truck that you can't see, like a john boat. Otherwise, I have my doubts that this thing can back a trailer better than I can. Question: how does it know where you want to put the trailer? I can foresee cursing the thing as it tries to go the wrong way. I wonder if it talks to you, probably has that computerized women's voice... no, turn this way...

I really don't mind technology like this. You can add parking aids/cameras/sensors and all that other stuff in their too. Truth is most people cannot properly handle the vehicle they are in. Most shouldn't have a license. Untill the government cracks down on bad or unskilled drivers (that will never happen) I welcome tech like this. Makes me feel safer when me or my family have to share the road with some of the lousy drivers cruising around.

I dont mind new technology to make life easier I find the idea of working smarter not harder refreshing. The only thing I dont like in this story is the picture of the car towing the camper. What is the tow rating for that thing? That to me just looks like the wrong tool for the job.

@5.3L LOL That trailer is European and is very lite. I've towed a trailer similar in size to that with a Jetta diesel. No problem at all and that was on the autobahn in Germany and Switzerland. Wasn't quite as good as with my F150 but it does the job, safely.

Reread the article fellas. It doesn't part the trailer for you. You use the MMI control using the systems inputs to direct the trailer rather than the steering wheel. You also still control the speed and braking using your pedals. It looks like a wide angle view camera that offers a view like the lower lenses on tow mirrors but all in one view rather th an having to keep looking left and right. BTW it isn't like they are removing your mirrors and mandating this tech on trucks. Don't like it? Don't get it or use it.

This is actually kinda cool. It doesn't steer for you, rather, instead of turning the wheel you move a little joystick that directs the trailer. Imagine the frustration this will save while waiting in line to launch your boat with 10 clueless people in line ahead of you. It's great tech for the rookies who only tow occasionally.

There is a similar system designed for large cruisers and yachts. Docking and/or slow speed maneuvering is a workout with standard controls, but with the new joystick control Axius system, anybody can parallel dock a large boat on the first try.

5.3 LOL:

What is the matter with a car towing a trailer...wasn't it VERY common a couple decades ago? What did we ever do without huge battle tanks to tow a relatively light camper like this? My wife's front wheel drive car could tow ~ 3500 lbs given the right trailer hitch weight (althoug they purposely rate it lower here in the USA for some reason, in Europe it can tow as much as it weighs).

I have seen a newer Ford Escape wagon/CUV/whatever (which are smaller than this car here, and probably lighter too) tow 16 ft lowboy with a pallet of grass centered right over the axle. Was traveling at a fairly decent clip too. It is lighter, less powerful than this car by far and I am willing to bet it doesn't have the braking this car does either.

Just sayin..... not everything has to be done with a full size truck.

Must be a Ford engineer improving the current backup system...

Where has this thing been my whole life??!!

@ 5.3 lol,
the tow rating on that car is triple what a tundra is rated to tow.

I never said you needed a full size truck thats what they make a light suv, mini van or a mid size truck for. The vehicle used may be able to get the job done like what you see herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl9agEYctgg but it looks like the wrong tool for the job.

I'm puzzled as to why parking your trailer with a joy stick aka video game is safer than with a steering wheel? Some people must not get the turn left to go right thing. I think that having a link to the trailer with a camera and backup sensors on the trailer is a good idea. I love the backup camera and sensors on my truck. I help my kids deliver papers and they still will walk in my truck's blindspot even though I've tell them not to.

Very well known Rugby Union Player in Australia , had the tragedy of running over his daughter in a driveway parking his SUV. She needed a fair bit of surgery.

ars use to tow lots back in the day in the US check this out from the 1970s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BNMvBnm14o


High tech apps have taken place and now allows pickup trucks to be controlled using mobile devices. Such apps are available on AppValley https://getappvalley.com/

Apps has been really convenient in the pick up truck business. GPS apps and many more can be installed from Tutuapp https://tutuappx.com/

I can now control my BMW using my mobile app similarly to my pickup truck which is really good. Such app is available for free on TweakBox https://tweakbox.mobi/

Very Interesting and wonderfull information keep sharing

This is very great and brilliant information.

The comments to this entry are closed.