General Motors develops improved trailer brake technology
Everyone who tows a trailer knows that towing safely requires different driving techniques. Even when trailer brakes are installed and calibrated correctly, it takes longer to stop when you're pulling a heavy load. General Motors' truck divisions at GMC and Chevrolet have been working to improve trailer braking using some of the same technology that has improved automobile braking over the past 30 years.
Many GM vehicles including its full-size trucks, utilize a braking system called eBoost. This system employs a vacuum pump and an electronic brake control computer module to maximize braking efficiency, giving you the shortest possible stopping distance in a panic stop situation. To improve the trailer brakes, GM engineers installed a similar eBoost system on a trailer, along with upgraded disc brake components such as brake rotors and calipers and upgraded tires.
With eBoost systems working on both the truck and trailer and new software to enable communication, the stopping distance of a truck and trailer improved by up to 40 feet when stopping from 60 mph to zero. That's compared to an identical truck and trailer using traditional electric trailer brakes.
This technology improves safe trailering using the existing seven-pin trailer wire connector and without the need for any extra connections. Advanced trailer braking also helps mitigate trailer sway by using the truck's electronic stability control.
GM's experiment is not yet ready for public use. No trailer manufacturers currently offer braking systems that can take advantage of the technology. GM plans to partner with organizations like North America Trailer Manufacturers and Recreational Vehicle Industry Association to bring the technology to market.
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