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  • Drew Dowdell
    Drew Dowdell

    Ford Brings Artificial Intelligence to Towing

      Now A.I. will help you line up your ball.

    Pro Trailer Hitch Assist_Ford F-150_02.jpgFord is taking the frustration out of lining up to your trailer.  At the New York Auto Show today, Ford will unveil Pro Trailer Hitch Assist, an A.I. powered driver's assist technology that uses machine learning to automatically line the truck up to the trailer.

    From distances of up to approximately 20 feet, the system uses the rear camera and two corner radar units to control the truck's speed, steering, and braking while the driver monitors the progress.

    Computer vision learning uses the truck's rear camera to identify the ball and trailer coupler. If the system detects an obstacle while in operation, it will alert the driver and stop the vehicle.

    Ford used hundreds of hours of video were collected to help train the system initially, but Pro-Trailer Hitch Assist will get smarter over time as more trailer image data is added and the vehicle's Ford Power-Up system receives over-the-air updates. The system will work in a broad range of terrain and weather conditions.

    Ford developed the technology in-house and has received 60 patents with 4 more pending.

    Pro-Trailer Hitch Assist is available now in the 2023 F-150, F-150 Lightning, and all-new 2023 F-series Super Duty.



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  • Posts

    • @Drew Dowdell Did they say why the Silver Collar would not work with the adapter at charging Ford EVs?   Do they not have all the pins that support the slower charging in the NACS adapter?
    • Yes Hummer did have issues and the Lyriq shipped and then held to address software issues. Those are the only two that seem to still be working with their current software as they are the only EVs that support Android Auto and Apple Carplay as GM used the default Qualcomm software with minimal customization. Course the stupid thing is that they are planning to with the updates for the trucks and Chevrolet SUVs move all EVs to their custom software with no Android Auto or Apple Carplay. Hopefully when they realize they made the mistake everyone thinks they did, they will enable it as it is software switched off/on.  Yup we are in total agreement on GM messing up the Hybrid thing. Ford initially back in 2020 when Qualcomm started to announce OEMs that were going to use their Qualcomm Snapdragon system with Android OS that they would go with a customize experience protecting the end user's data from the cell phone companies. Then in 2023 they started to say they would keep it for ICE and not for EVs at the start of the year and by the end of the year the Ford CEO stated that all ICE and EVs would support Android Auto and Apple Carplay as the customers have stated it is an important part of their auto experience. Much like how Wendy's said at the start of the week in their investors meeting that they would roll out Surge pricing for peak hours of buying their food the internet had an uproar with millions sending via social media their unhappiness with Wendy's about surge pricing. Wendy's has now announced that the customer has spoken, and they will NOT be implementing surge pricing. Ford listened to their upset customers, GM has not realized that their customers are not happy about the lack of Android Auto / Apple CarPlay and I think this will bite them big time.
    • That’s a side effect, but no. It’s harder to do both engine and vehicle platform at the same time than it is to have them alternate in cadence.    but that’s kinda true of all major projects with large separate components.
    • I actually assumed it was more about extracting more money out of a vehicle/platform. Brand new vehicles will spike sales, even with an old engine. Then in a year or two they add a new engine to spike sales again. Rinse and repeat. 
    • Ultium is a sound concept but GM's execution has been terrible. I would equate it to Alfa's rollout of the Giorgio platform that went horribly, but if you think about it, it has parallels. Have you not noticed that no manufacturer, not GM, not Toyota, not VW, ever rolls out a truly all-new car?   When a new platform comes out, they usually carry over powertrains or pluck a newer powertrain that has been running in some other vehicle for a few years. Then, once they're 2 years in, there is an engine'/transmission update.  You used to be able to set your watch to the "All new Camry with same engine" / 2 years later / "Camry gets all new engine" / 3 years later / "All new Camry with the same engine" cadence.   The reason for that is that it is incredibly difficult to set up a whole vehicle platform AND engine / transmission platform all at the same time. The latest "all-new" CR-V came out in 2022, but the engine platform dates back to 2014 when it debuted in a mid-cycle refresh of an overseas market Honda Fit. And that is why the Alfa Romeo Giorgio platform had so many issues at the beginning.  The Giorgio, which debuted under the Giulia and later the Stelvio, was the first truly "all-new" vehicle we've had in decades. It was a new platform, on a new production line, with a new engine. The only off-the-shelf component in that car was the ZF 8-speed automatic. These days, Giorgio seems to be doing just fine as the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Grand Cherokee L Now take that task and multiply it by 10.  Not only did GM build a new platform, they built a new powertrain, and a new battery pack, and then they had to build the plants to build that battery pack, which they'd never done before. They called in LG for help, but it is still a massive undertaking. The early Teslas were utter rubbish (some would argue they aren't much better today). Worse than anything GM is experiencing at the moment.  GM, for all its faults, at least had the wisdom to stop production so the issues could be addressed instead of pushing out sub-par beta-test products like Tesla did.  Keep in mind that the earliest Tesla Model-Ses are now 12 years old, one year OLDER than my Avalanche. I've been in a battery presentation for Ultium, and I do believe that GM is on the right track.  Their modular design makes it easy to future-proof the design for new chemistries as they become available.  They'll get there, they're further ahead on the curve than Tesla was 12 years ago simply because, unlike Tesla, they can make a door that shuts properly.
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