A Day at the Track –

GM Trailering Boot Camp

By Norm Rosen and Andy Thomson

Andy Thomson and I recently had the privilege of joining a select group of Canadian journalists for the first ever media event at the General Motors Canadian Technical Centre McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track in Oshawa, Ontario.

The event was billed as a GM Trailering Boot Camp – where the journalists had the opportunity to test drive the latest GM pickups – including the Silverado 1500 and 2500 models built in Canada.

The GM team gave us a full briefing on the Silverado trailering technology.
The GM team gave us a full briefing on the Silverado trailering technology.

The CTC McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track is a 55-acre facility constructed in 2021 as part of the Canadian Technical Centre – GM’s software development, testing, and environmental division, encompassing Evaluation Centres in Markham and Oshawa, Ontario, and test tracks in Oshawa and Kapuskasing.

The CTC drives the development of GM’s infotainment and autonomous driving apps, with state-of-the-art labs, test tracks, simulation, and AI/Machine Learning.

The McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track facilities include a 2 KM oval with Smart Driver camera system and 5G connectivity, an EV charging hub with 12 chargers, and a weather station for real time wind and rain data.

Our schedule for this visit encompassed three hands-on experiential activities.

We started out with a fifth wheel trailer towing adventure in a Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD High Country Midnight Edition, hosted by Chenyi Zheng, Software Developer, CTC Track, who gave us a tutorial on the trailering technologies, starting with the in-vehicle trailering app, as well as the transparent trailer camera features and the “red carpet” blind spot camera system. James Hodge, Brand Manager, Chevrolet, rode with us to provide additional information on the truck.

Chevrolet "invisible trailer" camera technology.
Chevrolet “invisible trailer” camera technology.

Our next experience was a voyage of discovery, hosted by Ralph Schlottke, Senior Product Manager, Trailering/HD/Fleet, who briefed us on the various camera views and Super Cruise technology. We followed a route along the streets of Oshawa and Highway 401 – Canada’s busiest road, to experience the functionality of these technologies in a real-world environment.

The third hands-on adventure was a demonstration of the trailer back-up guidance system, running through an obstacle course and backing into a designated spot. For this segment, our host was Doug Kenzie, National Marketing Manager – Chevrolet Trucks, who described the technology as Andy drove the Chevrolet Silverado Light Duty ZR2 Bison – a premium off-road truck, with 8 different cameras that provide 14 views. Utkarsh Saini, Software Developer, Viewing & Insights for Vehicle and Transfer, filled us in on the cameras and related operations before Andy slipped behind the wheel to check out the new trailering technology, as I shot video from outside the truck.

Watch the video of these three adventures here:

Chevrolet Silverado EV
Chevrolet Silverado EV

A Silverado EV Experience…

We concluded our day at the track with a glimpse of the future, as Scott Meldrum, Product Manager, introduced us to the Chevrolet Silverado EV – with what GM bills as the best range of any EV truck on today’s market – 632 km for the 3WT model, 724 km for the 4WT model and 708 km for the RST model.

Scott Meldrum briefed Andy Thomson on the many features of the Silverado EV
Scott Meldrum briefed Andy Thomson on the many features of the Silverado EV

The Silverado EV has “best in class” tow rating of up to 12,500 lbs, and is available with a Multi-Flex Midgate and Tailgate, Super Cruise with Trailering Technology, and 17.7” infotainment system.

Watch the video for a full technical description of this spectacular truck:

Many thanks to Michelle Burnham, Kaitlin Keefer, Holly Brennan, the GM media communications team and the engineers and product managers who made this an exceptionally interesting experience.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and never miss another update!