Ford Introduces Automatic Trailer Backing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-21-2015, 07:58 AM   #1
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Ford Introduces Automatic Trailer Backing

Ford Makes Backing Up a Trailer as Easy as Turning a Knob | WIRED

This will be available on the 2016 Ford 150. Pretty soon humans won't need any skill for anything at all because the robots will take care of us.
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:31 AM   #2
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Innovation is a great thing, but this is going a bit too far. You are right, Terry. Soon we will not have to learn anything, as machines will do all our thinking for us.

I can also see a potential for lawsuits coming from something like this.
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:36 AM   #3
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Well, hopefully the robots will still keep us around as pets after they take over--probably in cages like hamsters.
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Old 05-21-2015, 09:07 AM   #4
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The link no longer works on Wired. However I did find a video on the Detriot Fee Press about this attribute, perhaps the same video.

I am going to be the devils advocate on this one. I think its a cool idea even though for the most part I feel comfortable backing up trailers having been at for a period of time. I'm sure there were naysayers too when cruise control was first introduced, or when they first heard about auto pilot for commercial airlines. Heck the Air Force has planes that can only be flown via computers as they are too unwieldy for humans to pilot them.

But reading through the article further down from the video explains much about this technology and what it is, and does, and maybe what it does not do. The long and short of it is, you the driver are still in control but in a very different way. And as we ponder this, auto makers across the globe are working on vehicles that drive themselves. Its not a matter of if but when they will be available for mass consumption. Makes backing up a trailer via auto assist seem like child's play to me.
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Old 05-21-2015, 09:25 AM   #5
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I wonder whether it would be difficult for those of us who know how to back a trailer to do it with this system? (Like learning to turn in the direction of the skid and then switching to front wheel drive).
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Old 05-21-2015, 09:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Outlaw View Post
And as we ponder this, auto makers across the globe are working on vehicles that drive themselves. Its not a matter of if but when they will be available for mass consumption.
The technology is there and ready to implement, but the lawyers are not done yet. The question is, "In an accident, who is the responsible party; the owner, the manufacturer, the poor sucker who doesn't yet have 'collision avoidance' and such?"

And then the state and federal legislators will get involved. I'm not holding my breath.
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Old 05-21-2015, 09:37 AM   #7
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I think it is a great idea. Being new to the backing up process it would be great for someone like me. Hey, when I need to replace my TV I might consider the Ford. I suppose it will only be on vehicles that have a tow capacity of 5000+. I wonder if it will include back-up cameras too.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Terry G View Post
Well, hopefully the robots will still keep us around as pets after they take over--probably in cages like hamsters.
If the robots are from the consumer products market, they will love us and care for us and wonder why we don't breed.

If they are from the military market ...... well ...... we're hooped.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:11 AM   #9
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Bobbie, good point. At the risk of muddying up the waters, this is exactly what happened to this fellow regarding reverse steering bicycles. Its a very interesting video, which might pertain to the concept of backing a trailer.

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Old 05-21-2015, 11:18 AM   #10
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The Wired link to the video worked for me.

But I have to ask! So if one has to turn the knob to get the trailer to go in the direction you want it to go what the heck is the difference between that & just turning the steering wheel of the car to get the trailer to go in the direction you want it to go?

What am I missing?
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:41 AM   #11
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I'm at least going to try and get a back up camera, for a safety feature, and it wouldn't hurt my hooking-up, either.


Someone in the north of Seattle just backed over a baby and an actual coworker of mine accidentally did as well. Neither baby survived, and they were AWFUL AWFUL accidents. The coworker, a supervisor, stepped down from her position and is working part-time, even months & months later, because of the stress/PSD/whatever you want to call it.


So now I am a big advocate for back-up cameras and I need to get myself and my budget in gear to GET ONE! I've found two places in town that say they can add one to my existing car.
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Old 05-21-2015, 02:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Cory Hilby View Post
I'm at least going to try and get a back up camera, for a safety feature, and it wouldn't hurt my hooking-up, either.


Someone in the north of Seattle just backed over a baby and an actual coworker of mine accidentally did as well. Neither baby survived, and they were AWFUL AWFUL accidents. .
LOVE my back up camera! Now I have had one I would not want another car without one.

Accidents as you say do happen - I know someone who while backed up their motorhome pinned his wife who was directing him, up against a wall! She did not survive. Hell of a way to end a vacation fast.
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Old 05-21-2015, 02:37 PM   #13
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Carol, some people really do have dyslexia when it comes to this sort of thing. My nephew after going through 2-3 travel trailers including a 5th finally gave up because he hated backing the things up so much. Broke a back window in the process one time. Went to Class C motorhomes and never looked back. My wife want touch it, but not sure having this fancy gizmo would encourage her much either.

Back up cameras are great for the TV, our F150 has a really nice one with large screen and precise targets/guides for honing in on the hitch. Wouldn't be without one. We have one on our Oliver as well, but I am not as enthused about it as the one on the F150, image quality is nowhere near as good, very poor in fact and there are no guides etc just the image. Its marginally better than not having one.

Hope this helps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
The Wired link to the video worked for me.

But I have to ask! So if one has to turn the knob to get the trailer to go in the direction you want it to go what the heck is the difference between that & just turning the steering wheel of the car to get the trailer to go in the direction you want it to go?

What am I missing?
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Old 05-21-2015, 02:55 PM   #14
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I now use Swift Hitch camera.
You still have to check that your hitch is not too high or two low, but alignment is precise. No problem with image quality.
I had to contact cement a metal disc to the tire cover on my RAV because the camera has a magnetic base and most of the rear of the RAV is plastic.
See etrailer.com and note price indicated is from their Canadian site.
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