Trailer Towing Assistant (TTA)
Easy parking thanks to Trailer Towing Assistant (TTA)
For drivers of passenger cars and goods vehicles, driving with a trailer is gaining increasingly in importance. The number of registered trailers has nearly doubled over the past 20 years.
Anyone who has reverse-parked with a trailer knows that the steering is counter-intuitive, which can lead to hectic steering movements and thus also to difficult situations in traffic. Steering errors frequently also cause property damage.
In close cooperation with Audi, Westfalia Automotive has now developed the Trailer Towing Assistant (abbreviated TTA), a swivelling towbar with a combined mechanical and electronic solution that measures the angle of the towbar between the towing vehicle and the trailer. The system has its debut on the new Audi Q7.
The TTA is a consistent further development of the towbar. The “4th generation” hitch will increasingly serve as an information interface and become an intelligent link between towing vehicle and trailer.
Function of the TTA
- Inside the ball head of the towbar, there is a rotatable plastic ring with magnets that functions as an angle transmitter which rotates around a sensor.
- Every movement of the trailer relative to the towing vehicle causes the plastic ring to rotate.
- The sensor detects this movement, which is then processed in the vehicle and visualised on the MMI display.
- Using a separate rotary pushbutton, the driver enters the desired orientation of the trailer for reversing.
- This corresponds to the angle to be achieved between the longitudinal axies of the vehicle and trailer.
- Steering is handled by the system - the specified articulation angle is set automatically.
- The driver only has to take care of the “accelerator and brake” and can change the specified articulation angle at any time during reversing.
Advantages of the TTA
- Precise angular measurement thanks to a sensor resolution of 0.01°
- Reliability under all weather and visibility conditions (darkness, sunshine, raining, snow, frost, fog, etc.)
- In the future, TTA can serve as a stabilisation aid to make driving with a trailer safer (early engagement of the ESP in the trailer stabilisation system).
TTA in series production
Currently, Westfalia Automotive's TTA is available in the new Audi Q7 (European debut in March 2015). It is a component of the Audi ARA trailer assistant.
The implementation of TTA in additional vehicle models that will go into series production in the coming years is already in progress.
Reversing without TTA
Reversing with TTA
Rotating ring & sensor
OWL Innovation Award
At an award ceremony attended by EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger, the “OWL Innovation Award” was presented to Westfalia Automotive on 17 December 2015. The jury recognized the outstanding degree of innovation of the TTA and the development achievement of the engineers.