Ford has loaded up its new F-series Super Duty with up to seven cameras to aid in towing capabilities and reducing blind spots.
The truck's new 360-degree camera system employs four senors mounted on all sides with an additional unit integrated into the lane departure warning system. A camera mounted by the high-mount center brake light provides visibility to the truck bed and aid hitching up a fifth wheel or gooseneck trailer.
So that's six cameras on the truck itself. The magical seventh camera can be installed at the owner's preference. Whether it's on the back of a trailer or inside a trailer, it needs to be hard-wired though. Ford claims a wired connection provides better image quality and dependability, and I agree, from my experience with wireless backup cameras.
The seven video feeds all come together on the F-series Super Duty infotainment system display, sorry Xzibit, there aren't seven screens. While the cameras aids towing use, it's what Ford does with the images that make the Trailer Reverse Guidance system amazing.
The cameras come together to monitor trailer movement and coaches you to backup more efficiently and avoid jackknifing situations, in real-time. There's an icon that shows a rendered position of the trailer, too.
I can't say I've had much experience towing trailers as I've only done it twice before backup cameras were standard on most cars. I remember it was a pain and required having someone stand outside as a spotter. But, my experience was with a Nissan Xterra and Jeep Cherokee towing small trailers.
I rode as a passenger in a Chevy Silverado 3500HD towing a large flatbed car trailer with my dad a few weeks ago. Watching him back that behemoth up with a trailer was a tedious process in a tight residential road. I can imagine having a complete view of my surroundings is much more efficient than me yelling "STOP!"