See Your Way to Safety with the XtraVue Trailer System – Liberty Buick GMC Trailering Solutions

May 31st, 2019 by

If you’ve ever driven while hauling a trailer, you know the challenges that come with it. No matter how many years of experience you have, merging onto the highway, switching lanes, taking turns, backing up, and parking anywhere can be stressful and dangerous. Over time, a driver can get used to the weight of a trailer, and maneuvering around can become second nature. However, there’s always that one impediment that can conjure up anxiety: even the most seasoned trailer haulers don’t have eyes in the back of their heads. And even if they did, they can’t see past the massive trailer behind their truck. Until now.

French automotive supplier Valeo recently premiered their XtraVue Trailer system at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. Later this summer, the groundbreaking technology is slated to debut on the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD models. It will show up on the vehicle features list as “Transparent Trailer View.” Here is some more information on the system:

XtraVue Trailer System

What is it?

The XtraVue Trailer system is described by Valeo as technology that “allows the user of a trailer or a caravan to visualize the environment behind it.” Basically, it combines the video of your vehicle’s rearview camera with that of an additional camera on the rear of the trailer to form a single composite video that displays on a screen, which can easily be seen by the driver. According to demonstrations, this creates a seamless view of the environment surrounding the vehicle, including directly behind the trailer. In essence, it renders your trailer virtually invisible.

 

How does it work?

How the XtraVue Trailer system works is not unlike that of the “Stealth Sheet” being developed by the United States military, which is pretty much an invisibility cloak via nanotechnology. The primary difference between the two is that the XtraVue Trailer is not nearly as complex. Though the technology of the XtraVue Trailer is brilliant, it’s also straightforward and easy enough for the average driver to use comfortably.

While early applications of the XtraVue Trailer system involved 15 cameras, the newest version that premiered in January has the science down to two cameras: one on the rear of the vehicle and one connected to the rear of the trailer. During the driving process, the XtraVue Trailer system combines these two feeds into a single video, removes extraneous content (i.e., the trailer), and fixes the background in the trailer’s place. This video is projected through a large screen that is mounted where the driver can safely view it.

 

Safety Implications

The selling point for the XtraVue Trailer system—and, indeed, what makes it such a distinguished product—is that it makes your trailer invisible. This means that it opens up visibility for the driver. Visibility equals safety for both the driver and the surrounding drivers.

Anyone with towing experience will tell you that the larger the trailer is, the less you can see, which poses many dangers on the road. Maneuvers that are simple without a trailer (e.g., making turns, changing lanes, reversing toward other vehicles) become challenging with a huge box hanging behind you. Even with extended mirrors, your view cannot be fully trusted.

In pre-XtraVue days, the safest method to execute maneuvers while towing a trailer was usually to have a partner help you. For instance, they could tell you when it’s clear to switch lanes or get out and spot you while you park. But what if you don’t have anyone with you when you’re driving? Also, relying on another person is not as effective as seeing the surroundings yourself. This is where the XtraVue Trailer system proves most valuable, and its technology can work with a trailer as long as 32 feet.

 

A Work in Progress

This is not Valeo’s first go at the XtraVue Trailer system. The 2018 release was met with mixed reviews; the technology was great but lacked the simplicity necessary to see production. For example, the original version required several video feeds from surrounding infrastructure, as well as, other vehicles on the road. With the new version, you only need the XtraVue Trailer equipment on your vehicle and trailer. While the product images show the system displaying on a separate screen, it can be expected that the XtraVue Trailer system will run through the infotainment screen in stock vehicles (such as the Sierra).

The Valeo XtraVue Trailer system provides drivers with visibility, which makes the driving experience safer for everyone involved. This brilliant, refined technology is now becoming available to consumers everywhere. Keep your eyes peeled for updates on the XtraVue Trailer system, and be sure to come over to Liberty Buick GMC and check it out for yourself.