Magna International

Taking Towing to the Next Level with a Magna Innovation

Have you ever tried to back a boat down a launch pad or struggled to get jet skis from a trailer into the lake? These difficult tasks now are easy to handle because of a new Magna innovation called Trailer Angle Detection.

This smart solution intuitively and affordably takes trailer backup assist to the next level and offers jack-knifing prevention.

Until this Magna breakthrough, providing a system that recognizes the angle between the towing vehicle and the trailer was the critical missing link in terms of improving towing systems and trailering challenges.

Our patented invention, which is up for a 2018 PACE Award for innovation, can be used with all types of trailers in all environmental conditions. Trailer Angle Detection (TAD) is the original development program that requires a trailer marker and driver-entered measurements. The next developed program TAD2, enables detection without a marker or measurements, going beyond the current industry best practices in software and new technologies.

This Magna innovation enabled Ford to bring its highly regarded Pro Trailer Backup Assist to market on such best-selling products as the Ford F-150 and F-250 pickup trucks, and the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs.

The ingenious feature puts a premium on simplicity by using a standard rearview backup camera that does not require costly radar or “super-computing” chips. TAD uses artificial intelligence-based learning algorithms, along with the video stream from the towing vehicle’s backup camera and the vehicle CAN data (speed and steering angle) as inputs. Ford’s vehicle drivers can monitor the current angle of the trailer via the center-line axis of the towing vehicle.

We know that getting the right technology is a key part of the purchase decision for many truck and SUV buyers. It’s why we are always coming up with advancements like TAD and TAD2.

The trailer angle from TAD is utilized by Ford’s applications not the user.

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