General Motors has debuted its new eBoost trailer brake concept, which it says can improve stopping distances when towing a trailer by up to 20 percent.
This technology taps into the electronically controlled ‘eBoost’ brakes already in the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. To develop it, GM engineers outfitted a trailer with a similar eBoost system and installed software that enables communication between the truck and trailer. GM says the technology allows the truck “to command trailer braking like never before,” with the advanced trailer braking system helping to mitigate trailer sway when stopping. In testing, the system resulted in 20 percent shorter stopping distances, bringing the test truck to a halt 40 feet earlier than in tests using a traditional electronic trailer brake. GM says this is equivalent to the distance the truck can stop without a trailer at its gross vehicle weight rating. It’s worth noting the trailer also had upgraded brakes, rotors and tires, however – also contributing to the shorter stopping distance.
“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 GM’s vice president of global product programs, Tim Herrick. “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.”
This technology is only a sign of what may be to come from GM in the towing safety space in the future. Chevrolet and GMC trucks on the road today “potentially have the components necessary to make this concept a reality,” GM says, but no trailers exist with the same capability. If GM wanted to bring the eBoost concept to market, it would have to either partner up with a trailer manufacturer to integrate eBoost into a trailer, or develop its own trailer. As such, the company says the idea is only intended to “inspire technology partners needed to make the benefits a reality for truck and trailer owners in the future.” It will continue improving towing safety, though, and claims it is “committed to setting a new industry standard that will enable technologies like this in the future.”
A demo video showing the eBoost trailer brake technology in action is embedded below. Check it out to see how it works.