GM has filed a patent application for an automated trailer backup system for use in a motor vehicle, GM Authority has learned.
The GM patent filing has been assigned application number US 11,577,782 B2 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and was published on February 14th, 2023. The patent was originally filed on March 10th, 2020, and lists several engineers based in Ontario, Canada as the inventors, including Avesta Goodarzi, Steffen P. Lindenthal, Akran M. Abdel-Rahman, Utkarsh Saini, Jomo Hanley, and Norman J. Weigert.
As the patent points out, reversing with a trailer can often prove difficult, as the pivot points and geometries required to navigate a vehicle in reverse with a trailer attached are complicated and not always intuitive. Now, however, with the proliferation of automated driving systems, including systems for automated parking and automated highway cruising, it makes sense to offer a similar system for automated trailer backup as well.
The patent describes a system that incorporates a camera that captures an image behind the trailer, which is then fed to an interactive user interface. The image includes an augmented reality overlay that coincides with both right and left projected trailer pathing, with the user enabled to choose where the system will place the trailer via the digital screen overlay.
With the camera placed directly on the trailer, the user has a clear view of what’s behind the vehicle and where the trailer can be parked within a given maneuverability margin.
GM already offers a number of automated driving technology features, including Super Cruise, which provides hands-free driving capabilities on extended highway stints, automating the acceleration and steering inputs. The GM Super Cruise system has since expanded to include hands-free trailering on models like the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra. As such, an automated trailer backup system would serve as a fantastic complement, handing off one of the more difficult tasks of towing a trailer to the onboard electronics.