Vehicle technology

Anti-skid system AL-KO ATC: Now even safer and more effective!

Specialist in trailer driving safety launches electronics update

Trailers making dangerous swaying movements due to small evasive manoeuvres, side winds on bridges or wind pressure during overtaking can lead to critical situations. The AL-KO Trailer Control (ATC) anti-skid system for caravans and light commercial trailers, which has already been installed over 200,000 times throughout Europe, ensures smooth and even braking. With the further development of the ATC for trailers and caravans up to 3.5 tons, from the fourth quarter of 2020 AL-KO will offer a system for the aftermarket that even has advantages over car stabilisation systems with trailer recognition in the towing vehicle. The most obvious advantage is that the ATC in the trailer detects dangerous swinging earlier and in a more targeted way! From the third quarter of 2020, the new ATC will be available from selected OEMs.

The new ATC features even faster and more sensitive responsivity. If the system detects only a slight swinging, it goes straight into “attention mode" but does not slow down at that point. As soon as the swaying movements change critically, however, it intervenes immediately. In future the ATC will also evaluate the signals constantly rather than point by point. In addition, the new ATC version is recognisable by its new housing. Weighing in at only 4.5 kilograms, this system unit – which incorporates new, state-of-the-art electronics that like its predecessor can communicate with the AL-KO 2LINK connectivity system – remains the lightest system on the market. It will be mounted horizontally in future and can be easily installed on almost any caravan.

How does the ATC work? Sensors detect dangerous swinging movements directly on the caravan or trailer axle. The caravan/trailer will immediately, without any action on the part of the driver, brake gently and return to a stable driving condition. Braking is performed directly by the ATC mounted on the axle and not – as with the electronic stability program with trailer detection – by the towing vehicle. This pulls the vehicle combination back and driving stability can be restored by a slight reduction in speed.

The speed reduction is comparable to that of the car engine brake. The braking is so gentle that the brake lights do not even light up. The early intervention of the ATC minimises the risk of the caravan swerving or completely breaking away during braking in a critical lateral acceleration phase. Even overtaking can be safely completed with the gentle braking. Reassuring: So that the driver can set off without a care, the ATC carries out a self-test before each journey and a green display signals: "I'm ready, I’m working, you can count on me in an emergency."

In short: Electronic stability programs with trailer recognition in cars are effective aids for critical swaying movements. However, the new AL-KO ATC offers clear additional advantages and effectively prevents critical situations. The system is adapted to the respective trailer weight, recognises critical swaying movements earlier and at the point of origin, and is thus more likely to intervene in time. The car stabilisation system with trailer recognition in the towing vehicle is generally no longer needed.

Anti-skid system AL-KO ATC: Now even safer and more effective!