Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Auto-reversing

Consumer product possible?
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Everybody else but me at the green-rubbish dump used to reverse a trailer-load as straight as an arrow. No amount of practice made me any better over the years, so I avoided busy times.

Recently I found two relevant WWW areas while browsing.

The first was a jungle of legal and illegal sites devoted to exploiting the huge potential of the Lego “intelligent brick” robot-designing toy.

One of the hundreds of robots developed was a model of an auto-reversing car and trailer unit. It was capable of maintaining in reverse a pre-set curved track or a pre-set straight track. This “simple” task involves I learned, some very complex algorithms.

The second site was a Belgian one which reported on the varying successes achieved by attempts to automate the final stages of coupling and decoupling juggernaut “road train” units. [They don’t “float” as when assembling a space-station or linking a tug and tanker.]

So I searched but couldn’t find an intermediate stage between the two extremes, juggernauts snorting and roaring as they automate in a transport yard and a model robot unit whirring backwards on a hobbyist’s table-top.

This in-berween stage would be a consumer product enabling duffers like me to automatically reverse-steer a rubbish trailer or something larger the way an expert does.

If it exists already someone will know. And come to think of it, who needs one anyway in these times when everybody and his dog drives a huge 4wd truck and never needs a trailer?

rayfo, Dec 12 2000

[link]






       The GMC Serra Denali has 4 wheel steering, and it is supposed to make towing easier, foward and reverse   

       down side: $42,000 US
dtstyle, Jul 31 2002
  

       It's pretty easy to drive in reverse with a trailer if all you want to do is to go straight. Drive ahead a bit to make sure that everything's aligned. Then put it in reverse. Don't touch the wheel.   

       If this doesn't work, your tires are probably out of alignment.
rapid transit, May 21 2003
  
      
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