Get behind the wheel of a new GMC or Chevy pickup and hook to a trailer. If you've got a camera near the tailgate, you can see the rear end and match up to the ball hitch with accuracy – no more getting in and out of the cab six times just to get the match right.
You also get an orange, imaginary box showing you how the trailer is going to go if you keep steering as you are at that moment. The box might be imaginary, but the help is very real. If you don't know much about backing, this will show you the expected reaction to your action - the next turn of the steering wheel.
Once upon a time I could back a loaded hay wagon into a narrow opening in a tool shed – sometimes without ever pulling up to straighten up. I did it more than once, and there was only six inches of clearance on either side. Believe it, or not.
Backing skills must be like memory, they slip with age. I'm not so good backing our livestock trailer today. The camera with illustrated box would be helpful.
There are just a few problems. One, it wasn't even invented in 1995 when my truck was built. Two, if I put it on my truck now, it would be worth more than the truck.
Third, it still doesn't eliminate all frustration of backing up. I watched my friend used it to back up. He still had to get out, lower the trailer on the ball using a jack – and no, it still didn't line up right and fit every time. He still had to jump on the hitch or even reposition the truck sometimes to get it to mount onto the truck properly.
Fourth, what happens when I back into something and demolish the camera? My beat-up tailgate has been on and off several times, and has been banged around many times. I can just see cracking the camera as an occupational hazard. I can also see covering up the camera with mud from spinning tires or even worse, with manure from barn lots flipping up from the tires.
So is it foolproof? No. Is it interesting to watch in action? You bet. I didn't say I would never buy such technology, I just said that adding GPS and cool features made it near- but not foolproof.