Driving with a trailer is becoming increasingly important for car and truck drivers from year to year. The number of approved trailers has almost doubled in the past 20 years. But anyone who has ever parked backwards with a trailer knows that the steering behaviour is counter-intuitive, leads to hasty steering movements and can therefore also lead to difficult situations in road traffic. Steering errors often result in property damage.
In close cooperation with Audi, Westfalia-Automotive has now developed the Trailer Towing Assistant (short: TTA), a swivelling towbar with a mechanical-electronic solution that measures the drawbar angle between the towing vehicle and the trailer. The system celebrates its premiere in the new Audi Q7.
The TTA represents a consistent further development of the trailer coupling. The “4th generation” coupling will increasingly function as an information interface and become an intelligent connection between the towing vehicle and the trailer.
What Makes TTA Great:
- Precise angle measurement thanks to sensor resolution of 0.01 °
- Resistance to all visibility and weather conditions (even in the dark, sun, pollution, snow, frost, etc.)
- In the future, TTA can serve as a stabilization aid to make driving with a trailer safer (earlier intervention by the ESP in the trailer stabilization)
How Does TTA Work:
- In the ball head of the towbar, a rotatable plastic ring with magnets acts as an angle encoder that rotates around a sensor
- Every relative movement of the trailer to the towing vehicle leads to a rotary movement of the plastic ring
- The sensor detects this movement, which is then processed in the vehicle and visualized on the MMI display
- The driver specifies the desired orientation of the trailer when reversing using a separate rotary pushbutton
- This corresponds to the angle that is to be established between the vehicle and trailer longitudinal axis
- The system takes over the steering - the specified articulation angle is set automatically
- The driver only has to apply the "accelerator and brake", whereby he can always change the predetermined articulation angle when reversing