GM trailing braking

GM eyeing braking breakthrough

Feb. 3, 2020
New eBoost technology has potential to dramatically reduce stopping distances—with the right trailer industry partners

General Motors says its new advanced trailer braking technology has the potential to dramatically reduce stopping distances, allowing a truck and trailer to stop in the same distance as a truck by itself at its gross vehicle weight rating.

This is done using existing components, including GM’s segment-exclusive eBoost braking system, the manufacturer said.

GM already offers a class-leading eight cameras with up to 15 different views when trailering, an industry-first trailer label that shows the weight a specific truck can tow, and iN-Command from ASA Electronics compatibility available on the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light- and heavy-duty models.

“The industry tends to focus on the big towing claim, but the overall towing experience is just as important and every hill climb has a hill to descend on the other side,” said Tim Herrick, vice president of global product programs. “GM revolutionized the towing space with our industry-exclusive technology available on our full-size pickups, and this advanced trailer braking technology is yet another example of GM’s leadership and a hint at what’s possible in the future.”

Utilizing the truck’s eBoost braking system, GM engineers integrated a trailer with a similar eBoost system and upgraded hardware components such as brake rotors, calipers and tires. With eBoost systems on both the truck and trailer, and proper software to enable communication, the stopping distance of a truck and trailer improved by up to 20% from 60 mph to zero when compared to an identical truck and trailer using traditional electric trailer brakes—and that’s about a 40-foot difference, the company claimed. This technology allowed the truck to command trailer braking like never before, 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 stability control.

While Chevrolet and GMC trucks on the road today potentially have the components necessary to make this concept a reality, no trailers exist with the same capability. The concept preview is intended to inspire technology partners to make these benefits a reality for truck and trailer owners in the future.

GM continues to partner with organizations like the North America Trailer Manufacturers on making trailering more confident for everyone, and GM says it’s committed to setting a new industry standard that enables similar technologies in the future.

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TBB Staff