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  7. Ford is Using AI to Make Hitching a Trailer As Easy as Pushing a Button

Ford is Using AI to Make Hitching a Trailer As Easy as Pushing a Button

For 2023, the Automaker is Introducing Pro Trailer Hitch Assist to Take the Frustration Out of Hitching

Image Caption: Photo Credit: Ford

Artificial Intelligence has been in the news a lot lately as tech companies look to leverage AI as a tool for everyday use. But Microsoft and Google aren’t the only ones experimenting with this cutting-edge technology that promises to dramatically impact our lives. For example, Ford has just unveiled an innovative use for machine learning that will soon take the frustration and drudgery out of hitching a pickup to a trailer.

Ford Pro Trailer Hitch Assist

Photo Credit: Ford

Ford’s Pro Trailer Hitch Assist is a new optional upgrade for 2023 Super Duty and the F-150 line of pickup trucks. The system utilizes the vehicle’s built-in rear cameras, an array of integrated sensors, and specially developed AI to make hitching fast and simple. Drivers simply back their trucks to within 20 feet of a trailer and press a single button to activate the service.

From there, the pickup automatically detects where the trailer coupler is in relation to the hitch ball and adjusts its position to line up properly. The AI then takes over the truck’s steering, speed, and brakes as it maneuvers precisely into place with the ball directly under the coupler. Ford says the system even helps drivers with plenty of towing experience by speeding up the process and eliminating maneuvering mistakes.

Ford Pro Trailer Hitch Assist

Photo Credit: Ford

The AI that operates the Pro Trailer Hitch Assist was trained using a massive amount of data collected by Ford. The company tested the system on a wide variety of trailer types and sizes, with varying weather conditions and types of terrain. That information was then used to teach the truck’s onboard computers how to quickly and confidently identify a trailer’s coupler, align it with the hitch, and maneuver it into the proper position.

Ford says the new technology is so sophisticated that the company received 60 patents while developing the system. That process included training the artificial intelligence to recognize a trailer and coupler using existing rear cameras and corner-mounted radar sensors. Those same tools allow the AI to assess the current setting and conditions, allowing it to back into the proper position with more finesse and precision than a human driver.

Ford Pro Trailer Hitch Assist

Photo Credit: Ford

“Pro Trailer Hitch Assist is another smart solution to save time for our customers,” Ford’s general manager of Trucks, John Emmett, says in a press release. “Instead of struggling to hitch a trailer alone or with a spotter, customers can now get hitched more confidently and get on their way to the lake or a jobsite.”

Pro Trailer Hitch Assist is an optional upgrade for Ford F-150, F-150 Lightning, and Super Duty pickup trucks. For more information, visit the company’s website.

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