Ford’s new tech is about to make reversing a trailer much easier - SUV VEHICLE

Ford’s new tech is about to make reversing a trailer much easier

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The Ford Ranger and Everest will gain a new optional feature to assist owners with the process of reversing with a trailer.

The Ford Ranger and Ford Everest are now available with Ford Pro Trailer Backup Assist as an option, a feature already standard on the Ford F-150 introduced in 2023.

RELATED: We drive the Ford F-150 in Australia for the first time

Ford Pro Trailer Backup Assist will be optional on all trim levels of the Ranger and Everest, and brings another piece of technology designed to make towing easier.

What is Ford Pro Trailer Backup Assist?

Ford Pro Trailer Backup Assist is designed to make reversing your Ranger, Everest or F-150 while a trailer is attached easy.

The system uses sensors to track the position of the trailer, enabling the driver to simply turn a dash-mounted knob in the direction they’d like the trailer to go.

Once the direction is chosen, the system controls the steering wheel and works out which way to turn to get the trailer where the driver wants it to go.

It’s as simple as turning the knob to the left to move the trailer left, and turning it right to make the trailer move to the right.

Select reverse and the vehicle will follow the trailer in the direction you selected.

The driver can also make adjustments using the knob while reversing for tighter spaces to change direction or alter the direction of travel as needed.

At all times, the driver controls the accelerator and brake pedal. If you are familiar with automatic parking systems, it works similarly.

You will need to fit sensors to the trailer so the system knows the size of what is being towed.

If you tow regularly, as many as 10 trailers can be stored in the system for quick access, so you don’t have to add dimensions every time you use Ford Pro Trailer Backup Assist.

Benefits of Ford Pro Trailer Backup Assist

The simplicity of the system takes the guesswork out of reversing a trailer for drivers with little experience in this area.

Many owners report it is especially useful in tighter, trickier reversing scenarios.

It enables access to use the vehicle’s capabilities in a manner they may otherwise not have been able to enjoy, saving them from the potential embarrassment and considerable damage of an ill-made manoeuvre.

For many owners, using the technology has allowed them to develop their knowledge, experience and skills for reversing with a trailer, meaning they rely less on the system itself.

Downsides of Ford Pro Trailer Backup Assist

For first-time users, Pro Trailer Backup Assist can feel unnatural and takes some getting used to, but once the system is trusted, most owners report becoming comfortable using it.

The technology requires yaw sensors to be fitted to the trailer, so while it is quick to use, there is set-up time required to calibrate each trailer before use.

A kit including wiring and sensors comes with the F-150 and is included with the Ranger and Everest when the option is added.

Older versions of the system did not support gooseneck-type tow bars – exclusive to the Ford F-250 variant only – but updates to the software mean this has been remedied.

Pro Trailer Backup Assist cannot be used with a fifth-wheel set-up, however.

The system also requires drivers to apply throttle and the brake. While some may see this as a safety feature – giving the driver the final say – more advanced versions of automatic parking from Ford control steering as well as the brake and accelerator.

There’s scope for further automation with this technology, even if many will be satisfied with its current capability.

Which cars have Ford Pro Trailer Backup Assist?

Ford Pro Trailer Backup Assist is standard on the Ford F-150 XLT and Ford F-150 Lariat sold in Australia.

Meanwhile, the system will be standard on the 2024 Ford Ranger Wildtrak, Platinum and Raptor grades, and is available for the XLT and Sport double-cab variants as a part of the $1650 Touring Pack.

As for the 2024 Everest, Ford Pro Trailer Backup Assist will only be available as a part of the Everest Trend 4×4 and Sport 4×4’s existing Touring Pack for an additional $2500.

The feature has also been added to the new ‘Pro Towing Pack’ exclusive to the Everest Platinum and priced at $2900.

The post Ford’s new tech is about to make reversing a trailer much easier appeared first on Drive.

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