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Design and Development of a Semi-Autonomous Trailer Concept

Journal Article
ISSN: 2574-0741, e-ISSN: 2574-075X
Published January 23, 2019 by SAE International in United States
Design and Development of a Semi-Autonomous Trailer Concept
Citation: Peters, D., Buchholz, J., Culver, B., Everett, S. et al., "Design and Development of a Semi-Autonomous Trailer Concept," SAE Intl. J CAV 2(2):79-85, 2019,
Language: English


This work builds on previous efforts to develop a self-propelled, semi-autonomous trailer, for use with a standard passenger car. This trailer design involves a power source on the trailer itself, as well as the capacity to sense the load present in the trailer hitch that joins it to the towing vehicle. The load-sensing trailer hitch is used as the input to a control algorithm to determine how much power is required from the trailer’s power source. Two similar concepts were designed and constructed, using different approaches and different scales for testing. Preliminary testing was carried out, and while work remains to be done in order to produce a production-ready design, the progress made further demonstrates the feasibility and value of such a design. Future work will carry forward the research and development of this concept, with the goal of determining the best scheme for practical implementation.