Ford Patent Trailer SideSwipe Avoidance Technology, Aims to Make Towing Safer

Ford currently offers blind-spot monitoring for trailers, but the automaker also recently filed a patent application for technology that could increase safety margins when towing.

Filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the application describes a technology that avoids trailer sidewip that uses sensors to determine if a trailer is at risk of colliding with a barrier and triggers security measures to respond.

The sensors will measure things like speed, yaw rate, steering angle and proximity of nearby objects. This information will be provided to the sidewip swipe system, which will also be aware of the trailer’s wheelbase, according to the application.

Ford Trailer Sideswip Avoidance System Patent Image

Ford Trailer Sideswip Avoidance System Patent Image

If a sidewip is considered imminent, an onboard controller can take evasive action using throttle, steering or brakes, the application said. This may include a reduction in steering angle, for example.

While this may make towing safer, it’s not clear if Ford actually plans to keep the system in production. After all, a patent application is not a product plan. Nevertheless, with reliance on sensors and other technologies already built into new vehicles as part of various driver-assisted systems, the side swipe avoidance system at least seems like it could be integrated into a pickup truck or SUV without too much hassle.

Ford recently filed a number of truck-related patent applications, including a trisected tailgate design, tailgating features for the electric F-150 Lightning franc, and an integrated sand ladder for desert off-roading. Perhaps one of these ideas will eventually turn into a production car.

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