Never Worry About Hitching A Trailer Again With Ford's New Hands-Free AI System

Technology / 6 Comments

The system is available on all-new F-Series trucks.

If you're someone who tows often, there are few things as frustrating as struggling to hitch up a trailer, which is what makes the all-new Ford Pro Trailer Hitch Assist such a godsend for anyone wanting to get away for the weekend. The system, which debuted on the F-150 Lightning last year, is now available on all new F-150 and other F-Series trucks, utilizing AI machine learning to effortlessly connect your truck to a trailer without any driver input.

Since we first discovered the patent nearly two years ago, Ford's team has set about securing 60 patents for the industry-first system that can control the truck's speed, steering, and braking to ensure the trailer hitch ball is directly under a trailer coupler the first time.

"Pro Trailer Hitch Assist is another smart solution to save time for our customers. Instead of struggling to hitch a trailer alone or with a spotter, customers can now get hitched more confidently and on their way to the lake or a job site," said John Emmert, Ford Truck general manager.


The system is very simple, only requiring the driver to push and hold a button and watch on the center display as the truck takes control of the hitching process. The system is able to detect a trailer and coupler at distances up to 20 feet and then determines the best path for guiding the vehicle right into place.

The goal of the system is to save the driver time and frustration, which can be critical for professionals who are towing on a daily basis. Ford collected a massive amount of data to develop the system, which included testing on trailers of all different sizes across different types of terrain and in various weather conditions. With time and use, Ford plans on improving the system and updating driver's vehicles thanks to Ford Power-Up software updates.


The system joins a suite of other driver and trailering systems available on F-Series trucks, like Pro Trailer Backup Assist and Onboard Scales, to make towing an absolute breeze for anyone. With the addition of the Trailer Hitch Assist, Ford is setting itself apart from its competitors with technology that no one else really possesses.

When it comes to AI, though, the thing that gets all of the headlines is automated driving. In that regard, GM currently has a big leg up with its excellent Super Cruise tech that even allows hands-free driving with a trailer in certain situations. But Ford is hot on its heels, and with the recent introduction of the Latitude AI subsidiary, the company may soon have a new BlueCruise feature that's just as competitive for the best-selling vehicle in America.


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