Better, smarter brakes could make a big difference.
General Motors believes it has a technological breakthrough that could make towing much safer. The new eBoost Trailer Brake Concept would allow a pickup hauling a trailer to stop in the same distance as the truck not hauling a load 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," Tim Herrick, General Motors Vice President of Global Product Programs, said about the new technology.
The tech works by communicating with the trailer through the existing seven-pin connector. The trailer also has upgraded brake rotors, calipers, and tires. Software coordinates the braking to be more efficient, and the result is a 40-foot reduction in stopping distance from 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour).
The bad news is that there are no trailers available that can make use of this technology. GM intends to work with its partners in the industry to make the necessary features available on trailers in the future to make the eBoost Trailer Brake Concept a production reality.
As pickups can tow increasingly heavy loads, technology like this makes more sense. For example, the new Silverado HD can haul up to 35,500 pounds, which is a 52-percent increase from the previous generation of the truck. To make pulling so much weight easier, Chevy offers features like 15 cameras, trailer sway control, and integrated trailer brake control.
GM eBoost Trailer Brake Concept Enables Stopping Distance Breakthrough
Developed to help give trucks the same stopping distance with or without a trailer
DETROIT — GM is committed to not only great capability for customers who tow, but also advancing technologies that benefit customer confidence. That includes an advanced trailer braking concept that has the potential to dramatically reduce stopping distances – in fact, it allows a truck and trailer to stop in the same distance as a truck by itself at its gross vehicle weight rating. This is done using existing components, including GM’s segment-exclusive eBoost braking system.
GM has established its towing leadership with a class-leading eight available cameras with up to 15 different camera views1 when trailering, an industry-first trailer label that shows exactly what weight that specific truck can tow, and iN-Command® from ASA Electronics2 compatibility available on the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light-duty and heavy-duty models.
“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,” said Tim Herrick, vice president of Global Product Programs. “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. This pioneering technology allowed the truck to command trailer braking like never before, 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 this concept a reality, no trailers exist with the same capability. Today’s preview of the concept is intended to inspire technology partners needed to make the benefits a reality for truck and trailer owners in the future.
GM continues to partner with organizations like North America Trailer Manufacturers and Recreational Vehicle Industry Association on making trailering more confident for everyone, and GM is committed to setting a new industry standard that will enable technologies like this in the future as we work towards our vision of zero crashes, zero emissions, zero congestion.