GMC wants to make towing safer with new trailer-braking tech

When you're pulling serious weight, you need serious stopping power.

Emme Hall Former editor for CNET Cars
I love two-seater, RWD convertibles and own a 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata for pavement fun and a lifted 2001 Miata for pre-running. I race air-cooled Volkswagens in desert races like the Mint 400 and the Baja 1000. I have won the Rebelle Rally, seven-day navigational challenge, twice and I am the only driver to compete in an EV, the Rivian R1T.
Emme Hall
2 min read
2020 GMC Sierra HD
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2020 GMC Sierra HD

Heavy loads need more space to brake.


If you've ever towed a heavy trailer, you know that while pulling power is great, stopping power is paramount. Even with just 5,000 pounds behind a truck or SUV, drivers have to leave plenty of room to bring the vehicle and trailer to a stop. So imagine pulling 35,000 pounds, which is what the current crop of heavy-duty pickups can handle. That's some serious weight to haul, and GMC is hoping to use its eBoost braking system to shorten a truck's necessary stopping distance while pulling that kind of mass, making everyone safer on the road.

Watch this: GMC developing trailer braking tech to stop on a dime

This trailer-braking concept starts with a trailer with upgraded brake calipers, rotors and tires. GMC then adds its eBoost module and software so the truck and trailer can talk to each other. In its testing, which we got to see in a demonstration during an event in Vail, Colorado, earlier this month, GMC was able to stop a truck with a 9,000-pound load in the same distance that it would take just the truck to come to a stop. During a panic stop while hauling a trailer, GMC's eBoost tech netted an extra 40 feet of stopping space, which could be a lifesaver.

This technology is just a concept for the moment, but General Motors says it could theoretically work with the new GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado. However, trailer manufacturers would need to get on board. The system could be installed at the trailer's factory or be upfitted as a dealer add-on. GMC also envisions the possibility of installing the system itself on your existing trailer. Regardless of the installation, there are many possibilities. Here's hoping this tech makes it to production soon.

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