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The latest thing in driver assist technologies are systems that enable people with very poor reversing skills to successfully manoeuvre a trailer without damaging anything. Volkswagen is just one of the car manufacturers employing this new technology for 2016. They recently produced an incredible video to showcase what they are doing, a video that takes the trailer test to a new level.

The video shows a Volkswagen Passat ostensibly towing a trailer through a Norwegian town. Or rather, should we say, the trailer appears to be towing the car. Volkswagen made sure to take the car and trailer combination through heavy traffic, into a car park, through a parking garage, and even onto a busy urban road where the driver could put his overtaking skills to the test. Amazed onlookers were stupefied to see how much control the driver of the Passat had over the trailer. But it turns out the whole thing was a set-up.

The trailer was actually a modified utility trailer made of a one-way material that allows a driver sitting inside to see out without letting those outside to see in. The driver had control of a 1.4 L engine and steering system that enabled him to drive the trailer and car combination. It was the Passat that was actually being towed, not the other way around.

A Point Well Made

Despite the fake car and trailer combination, Volkswagen’s point was well made. Their Trailer Assist technology does allow the new Passat Estate and Saloon models to control steering during reversing manoeuvres while the driver controls the accelerator and brake. The technology can successfully reverse a trailer into a standard parking space without any trouble.

Trailer Assist is similar to Ford’s park assist technology that parallel parks automatically. It uses a variety of cameras, sensors and sophisticated software to do all the maths associated with intricate manoeuvres. Lightning fast computations enable the software to continually adjust until the manoeuvre is complete.

Trailer Assist will undoubtedly become a very popular feature in the coming months and years. However, it will not erase the need for the car and trailer test required to get a trailer towing entitlement. All drivers who obtained their car licences after 1 January 1997 still need an additional entitlement to tow all but the smallest of utility trailers. Getting that entitlement is a matter of taking and passing the car and trailer test.

The HGV Training Centre offers training classes to prepare drivers for the test. Our classes teach drivers all of the information they need to know, as well as to give them plenty of time to practice their actual driving skills. When the testing day arrives, our students approach their exam with complete confidence they will pass.

If you are planning to tow a trailer this year, be sure you have the correct entitlement. Contact us for more information about training in your local area before you sign up to take the trailer test.

Sources:

Motors – https://news.motors.co.uk/news/volkswagen-shows-off-new-towing-technology/

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