Advanced Tow Assist makes reversing with a trailer easy enough for a comedian to use.
Ever try backing up with a trailer hitched to your vehicle? It ain't easy, let me tell you (having done it a few times myself), especially when you're on the clock and people are watching (and judging) you. But Land Rover has taken the anxiety and guesswork out of it.
While the new Defender may be getting the lion's share of attention, Land Rover has put out this short video to highlight another one of its vehicles – the Discovery – and demonstrate one of its most innovative and potentially helpful features.
The fourth-generation Discovery has a nifty little system called Advanced Tow Assist that virtually automates the process of reversing with a trailer. Engage the system and you can steer with the rotary knob on the center console, modulate the pedals like normal, and the vehicle does the rest – calculating and counter-steering as required to keep the SUV and its hitched trailer driving on the right path, without jack-knifing or veering off course.
So just how easy is the system to use? Easy enough for a comedian (and self-described driving novice) to operate. With his father watching and criticizing. And the tide rising.
That's right, Land Rover put Jack Whitehall (apparently something of a celebrity in the UK) behind the wheel of a new Discovery, with a 22-foot-long Airstream trailer hooked up, at the far end of a narrow causeway on the Channel Island of Jersey, and gave him the task of getting himself, his dad, the vehicle, and the trailer onto dry land before the causeway was washed over by the rising tide. It'd be enough to make most of us buckle under the pressure, but with the system engaged... well, we'll let you watch the four-minute video yourself to see how it all turned out.