Have you ever followed your friend or family on a long trip and just wished they would tow you there so you can sleep? We wished for this many times and apparently so has Toyota USA. In fact, Toyota is currently developing a system they call “hitchless towing” where one vehicle can automatically follow another without any physical connection.
Thank you to Steve Friedle for giving us a pointer to this.
The concept of this hitchless towing is that one vehicle of a certain driving capability (stopping distance, acceleration, and steering) is automatically following another vehicle that has a similar driving capability. The vehicles use sensors, cameras, and other proprietary technologies to make it happen. The idea is that the driver in the lead vehicle is still driving normally, and the driver in the following vehicle can disengage and let the vehicle do all of the following. In a way, this is creating an automated convoy.
This technology is still in development. It is not something you can equip your Toyota to do right now. Since your camping trailer or car hauler does not have a steering axle or any powerplant – this is not applicable to truck+trailer.
Here is a video that explains the concept behind it.
Here is a new Toyota Tundra Hybrid towing a heavy 10,000 lbs trailer on the Ike Gauntlet™ – the world’s toughest towing test.