General Motors Co. in Detroit today announced it has developed a concept trailer braking system that it says has the potential to dramatically reduce stopping distances.
Using existing components, including GM’s eBoost braking system, the concept allows a truck and trailer to stop in the same distance as a truck by itself at its gross vehicle weight rating.
“The industry tends to focus on the big towing claim, but the overall towing experience is just as important and every hill climb has a hill to descend on the other side,” says Tim Herrick, vice president of global product programs for GM. “GM revolutionized the towing space with our industry-exclusive technology available on our full-size pickups, and this advanced trailer braking technology is yet another example of GM’s leadership and a hint at what’s possible in the future.”
Utilizing the truck’s eBoost braking system, GM engineers integrated a trailer with a similar eBoost system and upgraded hardware components such as brake rotors, calipers, and tires.
With eBoost systems on both the truck and trailer and proper software to enable communication, the stopping distance of a truck and trailer improved by up to 20 percent from 60 mph to zero when compared to an identical truck and trailer using traditional electric trailer brakes – that’s about a 40-foot difference.
The technology allowed the truck to command trailer braking like never before, GM says, using the existing seven-pin trailer wire connector and without the need for any extra connections. The advanced trailer braking also helps mitigate trailer sway by using stability control.
While Chevrolet and GMC trucks on the road today potentially have the components necessary to make the concept a reality, no trailers exist with the same capability.
GM notes that it continues to partner with organizations like North America Trailer Manufacturers and Recreational Vehicle Industry Assoc. on making trailering more confident for everyone, and GM that it is committed to setting a new industry standard that will enable technologies like this in the future as it works toward a vision of zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion.