The innovative, optionally available Trailer Assist can be activated at the push of a button to enable even inexperienced trailer drivers to reverse a trailer quickly and safely. The mirror adjustment switch, which is then used as a joystick, lets the driver variably set the desired driving direction for the car-trailer combination and modify it at any time. The actual driving angle and the angle set by the driver are visualised in the instrument cluster. The system now automatically controls the electromechanical power steering, while all the driver needs to do is accelerate and brake.
When the trailer is pointing in the correct direction, the driver simply presses the mirror adjustment switch towards the rear, and the trailer then appears to effortlessly pull the vehicle behind it along a straight line. This relieves all of the anxiety of straight-line reversing with a trailer, even over long stretches.
Playing a crucial role in the manoeuvring process is the camera technology that is integrated into the vehicle. It enables Trailer Assist to perform automatic lateral guidance of the car-trailer combination. The process is based on image processing algorithms based on data from the rear-view camera system, which monitors and analyses the articulation angle between the car and the trailer. Optical measurement of the articulation angle is used to compute the required steering angle – regardless of the type of trailer model or draw bar implemented.
The system is another piece of pioneering work by the technical developers at Volkswagen, whose goal was to make complicated parking and manoeuvring actions easier and safer. Anyone who tows a trailer will appreciate this small helper very quickly if they need to make precise movements while manoeuvring trailers in a tight space, e.g. garden waste trailers, motorcycle trailers or caravans. It ensures relaxed transport of anything that is being towed behind the trailer coupling – in work, recreation and especially during the most wonderful weeks of the year: holidays.
At a glance – the development of assistance systems for parking
1997 – First park distance control system with four ultrasonic sensors
2005 – Park distance control, front and rear
2006 – World's first parking assistant (Park Assist)
2008 – First use of Rear View
2010 – First use of ‘Area View’ area monitoring system
2010 – Optical Parking System (OPS)
2010 – Park Assist 2.0
2012 – 360-degree OPS
2012 – Park Assist 2.0 with perpendicular parking
2014 – Rear Traffic Alert
2014 – Blind Spot Monitor
2014 – Area View, 2nd generation
2014 – Introduction of Trailer Assist
2015 – Park Assist 3.0
Video: The system handles the task of steering; the driver moves the car-trailer combination by accelerating and braking.