Backing into a parking spot is an impossible challenge for many drivers. How about backing up while also towing a trailer? That could get at least a little easier with a nifty feature on the upcoming 2017 Ford Super Duty pickup, called Trailer Reverse Guidance.
Think of it as training wheels for anyone who doesn’t regularly tow a trailer. Using four rear-facing cameras—one on the tailgate, one on the back of the cab, and one on each side mirror—the driver is given a hybrid view of the trailer via the pickup’s navigation unit touchscreen, so they can back up without having to turn around.
There’s also an optional wireless camera that can be mounted to the back of the trailer in case it obstructs the driver’s rear-view mirror, and a clever software assistance option that shows the driver exactly how they should be turning the steering wheel to keep the trailer and truck in a straight line while reversing.
To date there hasn’t been much testing of autonomous cars to ensure they can also handle a trailer full of horses towed behind them, so you can forget about waiting for a self-driving pickup truck to arrive. Well, at least until regular autonomous cars are more commonplace on the roads.