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A Closer Look At The Ford Pro Trailer Backup Assist: Feature Spotlight

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Ford has constantly looked for ways to improved the towing experience. Whether its about make it safer, with trailer sway control, or easier, with the new Pro Trailer Backup Assist function. Many of us have gotten on with our lives without either feature before, but after seeing them in action, we’re left wondering how.

In regards to the Pro Trailer Backup Assist, which debuted on the Ford F-150 two years ago, the segment-first feature can also be found on the all-new 2018 Ford Expedition. And we recently attended a media event to watch the 2018 Expedition back up a trailer while using the new feature in action. While we were there, we learned some details.

The Pro Trailer Backup Assist is actually a system supplied by Magna, with a combination of OEM and supplier algorithms. The results of which make the trailer “nearly jackknife proof.” Because there’s always somebody that will somehow figure out a way to break something. For the backup camera to accurately keep track of things, the Pro Trailer Backup Assist cleverly utilizes white/black high contrast stickers, with a very specific metric of both matte and gloss finishes. So, don’t try slapping any unofficial checkered patterned stickers on the trailer, because they won’t work. Thankfully, the package does come with six sets of stickers. For six different trailers, of course. And each one of them can be individually stored onto the 2018 Expedition or F-150, as if they were Bluetooth devices – up to an excessive 10 trailers in total. The package also comes with convenient measurement cards to log the individual length and width of the trailers, as the feature needs to specifically know that number, so as to calculate the jackknife angle in order to avoid it.

Being that Pro Trailer Backup Assist is provided by a supplier, it could only be a matter of time before other players in the segment adopt it (looking at you, 2019 Chevrolet Silverado). But for now, the feature remains exclusive to Ford.

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Written by Manoli Katakis

Former staff.

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