Anybody who has towed a trailer can attest to the changes in driving dynamics, especially in braking where stopping distances increase exponentially depending on the weight behind the vehicle, but General Motors is hoping to take that out of the towing equation by developing a braking system that gives pickups an unwavering stopping distance … with or without a trailer.
The conglomerate’s advanced braking concept utilizes the truck’s eBoost braking system (which combines the master cylinder, vacuum booster, vacuum pump, and electronic brake control module into a single unit for fine electronic control of brake application and feedback) and installed the system on a trailer, also upgrading brake rotors and callipers, as well as the tires.
With eBoost systems on both the pickup and the trailer, and the proper software communication between them, the braking distance of the truck/trailer combo improved by 20% (a distance of about 12 metres) from highway speeds, compared to a combination using today’s traditional braking setup. And, it also mitigates trailer sway, using stability control, and it was all handled through an existing 7-pin wire connection.
“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.”
The catch is that although Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups (both light duty and heavy duty) have the eBoost technology available, no trailer in the industry has the same capability. The company is hoping that the concept inspires the technology development from outside partners. No timeline, therefore, exists for development.