UK Haulier have been invited to the press test drive event for the new Actros in Barcelona: over a period of one and a half weeks, nearly 200 journalists from more than 30 countries will have the opportunity to test the new flagship from Mercedes-Benz Trucks. The great benefit of the driving presentation: the focus will not only be on visible innovations like the new MirrorCam, the new Multimedia Cockpit or the characteristic light signature. Journalists will be able to experience first-hand the “inner values” of the truck from behind the wheel and get an impression for themselves of the efficiency of all new systems on the roads of Spain.
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New: Active Drive Assist offers an entry into partially automated driving – greater safety and relief of the driver
The new Actros has further strengthened its leadership position in safety. A milestone in this field is the new Active Drive Assist. A world premiere in a production truck, the system offers partially automated driving in all vehicle speed ranges. It actively supports the driver in certain conditions through longitudinal and lateral guidance of the truck and can automatically brake and accelerate the vehicle, while also keeping within the lane. The system plays its strengths in both heavy traffic and on long, monotonous trips. However, the driver continues to have full responsibility for driving the vehicle safely. This responsibility also means that the driver must always have full control of the vehicle in traffic, amongst other things.
Active Drive Assist can keep the truck in its lane through steering motions. With the support of a camera, the system guides the vehicle according to the markings on both sides of the road. Added safety: active lane guidance continues even if the driver has deactivated Active Drive Assist. Should the vehicle threaten to inadvertently leave its lane, the active lane guidance will nevertheless intervene and automatically steer the vehicle back into its lane. Active Drive Assist utilises the new, electrically operated steering system. It increases the steering torque as required – during manoeuvring, for example – and thereby improves handling.
When Active Drive Assist is operating, the driver sees a blue steering wheel icon in the central display of the Multimedia Cockpit, along with blue-coloured lane markings. Approaching a preceding vehicle too closely is also indicated here, and Active Drive Assist automatically slows down the new Actros. When the distance to the preceding vehicle is sufficient again, the system accelerates the new Actros to the selected speed. The desired distance to the preceding vehicle can be set to different levels. Active Drive Assist also helps the driver in a traffic jam, as the system builds on the proven Proximity Control Assist with stop-and-go function.
Important to note: all support systems in the new Actros operate in close coordination with one another: for example, Active Drive Assist uses the advanced radar and camera technology of the equally new Active Brake Assist 5 in capturing preceding traffic and in detecting road markings. Active Drive Assist always operates in accordance with the specifications of the intelligent cruise control and transmission control system, Predictive Powertrain Control, in order to move the truck along as economically as possible.
Sensational world premiere: the new MirrorCam for a better rear view and optimised aerodynamics
For the first time in a mass-produced truck, the new Actros with MirrorCam replaces the conventional main and wide-angle mirror with a camera system. The MirrorCam improves safety and aerodynamics. The system operates completely with digital cameras and displays. The streamlined cameras are mounted on the right and left on the roof frame. The camera images appear on two 15-inch displays mounted on the A-pillars in the cab. The brightness of the displays can be manually adjusted. The viewing area can be changed at the door operating unit, as in conventional mirror adjustment. The camera system can also be heated.
The MirrorCam offers considerably improved all-around visibility. A pleasant side-effect: the driver also has a good view at an angle past the A-pillars, enlarging the field of vision – an addition in safety. What’s more: using conventional mirror configurations, it’s possible for the driver to be on the road with badly adjusted mirrors, causing a so-called “blind area”. In this area, pedestrians and cyclists can be easily overlooked. But the MirrorCam solves the problem of badly adjusted mirrors entirely: before every engine start, the camera automatically sets itself up for optimal vision. And from any perspective, the display shows the same complete image.
Multiple functions of the MirrorCam support the driver: while cornering the picture on the display for inside the curve swivels along with the semi-trailer, to provide an optimal view of the entire trailer. Distance lines also help the driver better estimate following traffic. An additional, separately adjustable line can also indicate the end of the trailer, for example. Centimetre-precise manoeuvring thus becomes even easier. The MirrorCam features a special manoeuvring view for reversing: the upper part of the display shows the area proximate to the vehicle and the lower part – with a certain overlap – the distant areas.
As darkness falls, the system changes to a type of night vision mode, to prevent dazzling the driver and to reduce the glare from other road-users’ headlamps. During the day, too, the system prevents the driver being dazzled from behind by direct sunlight. And should the driver take a break or nap, he or she can activate the system for two minutes at a time with a switch on the bunk. The driver can then monitor the vehicle environment at all times on the displays, even if the curtains are closed. The MirrorCam system is certified in accordance with the applicable UN regulation R46 for rear-view mirrors.
More safety for the most vulnerable road users: Sideguard Assist has been further improved for the new Actros
Sideguard Assist has been available since 2016 and minimises the probability of dangerous accidents on the co-driver’s side when the vehicle turns to the right. Development of the new Actros has further revised the system, however, and made it fit for the digital future of trucks. Daimler Trucks is currently the only manufacturer offering such a warning system fully integrated in the vehicle architecture. Another special feature is that the system covers the entire length of the right side of the tractor/trailer combination and beyond, and can predict the tractrix curve of the trailer.
The MirrorCam and Sideguard Assist work hand-in-hand in the new Actros: if Sideguard Assist is installed, the MirrorCam display shows the warning messages of that system in critical driving situations. All relevant notifications and indicators are in one place – this prevents the driver being overwhelmed with information.
Sideguard Assist operates with a multi-stage warning process: if a moving or stationary object is detected in the monitored zone on the co-driver’s side, the driver is first given a visual warning. This comes in the form of a yellow triangular warning symbol which lights up in the MirrorCam display on the co-driver’s side. If there is a risk of collision, an additional visual and acoustic warning is also issued: the display then flashes red repeatedly and after two seconds, it lights up red permanently. In addition, a warning tone sounds on the co-driver’s side at the same time. Sideguard Assist does not actively intervene in the brake system. Assisted by the system’s warnings, the driver is responsible for duly braking the vehicle.
In line with the launch of the new Actros, Sideguard Assist can now support the driver under certain conditions when turning to the left: on trucks with a frame overhang of more than 1.5 metres behind the last rear axle, there is a risk that the right-hand rear corner of the vehicle will veer out when turning to the left. This can result in a dangerous collision between the frame overhang and other road users. These could be pedestrians, cyclists or other vehicles, for example. However in the new Actros, Sideguard Assist can warn the driver of such a collision in good time.
The core of Sideguard Assist is made up of two short-range radar sensors on the frame on the co-driver’s side in front of the truck’s rear axle. The system is designed so that it monitors the entire length of the vehicle combination plus two metres to the front and one metre to the rear. It works for both solo vehicles and vehicle combinations up to 18.75 metres in length.
Additionally available from Mercedes-Benz Trucks only: the new Active Brake Assist 5 with further-improved person detection
The new Active Brake Assist 5 affords greater safety for pedestrians. New in the current version of the emergency braking assistance system is the interaction between radar and camera systems. Among other things, the system’s response to persons in a speed range below 50 km/h has been improved. Within the system limits, Active Brake Assist 5 is now capable of carrying out emergency braking when encountering pedestrians crossing its path, approaching from the front, walking ahead or suddenly halting when startled.
If Active Brake Assist 5 detects a risk of collision with a vehicle travelling ahead, a stationary obstacle or a person, the driver is alerted to the danger by a three-stage escalating warning system. If the driver fails to take action, a visual warning and warning tone will first occur. Partial braking will then be applied. If the driver still fails to react, within its limits the system can carry out maximum full-stop braking and at a speed under 50 km/h activate the hazard warning light system, in order to signal following traffic. Finally, on coming to a stop the vehicle applies the new electronic parking brake.
Active Brake Assist 5 can detect hazardous situations in many cases better than a person and thereby react at an early stage. Like its predecessor, Active Brake Assist 5 is intended to support the driver in minimising the danger of a collision and reducing or wholly preventing the consequences of an accident. Active Brake Assist 5 does not support autonomous driving, however, which would allow the driver to ignore traffic. Drivers accordingly retain full responsibility at all times when on the road, as required by law. They must adjust their driving to the traffic situation and in particular constantly monitor their following distance and speed.
Other safety highlights: electronic parking brake, Traffic Sign Assist and Stability Control Assist
Besides Active Drive Assist, MirrorCam, Sideguard Assist and Active Brake Assist 5, other innovative systems increase safety in the new Actros: the new electronic parking brake with HOLD function combines easy handling and greater safety. It is automatically activated when the engine is turned off. The integrated HOLD function is activated when the vehicle is stationary by depressing the brake pedal. The function is released once the accelerator pedal is operated again. The system’s integrated Hill Holder starting-off aid performs a valuable service when starting off on a gradient.
Traffic Sign Assist can detect speed limits, the start and end of no-passing zones and warning signs, and shows them on the display. A visual warning appears if the driver drives at a speed exceeding that indicated by the detected traffic signs.
The new Actros travels more safely on the road thanks to the new Stability Control Assist for semi-trailers and trailers. Whether tractor/semi-trailer combination or drawbar combination – in overrun mode and when cornering the system brakes the trailer with moderate brake pressure to stabilise the vehicle train. This function operates in accordance with the applicable directive for braking systems, UN R13.
Unique exterior: new light signature, LED daytime driving lights and Intelligent Light for improved safety
Light also means safety. The new, flowing light signature on the upper headlamp edge makes the new Actros unmistakeable both day and night. The new standard-feature LED daytime running lamps make the truck optimally visible in daytime. The new Intelligent Light System marks a great advance. It includes, in addition to the LED daytime running lights, an automatic switching function between low beam and high beam, as well as an automatic cornering light and fog lamps.
Up to five percent lower fuel consumption through improved aerodynamics and other measures
Compared with its predecessor, the new Actros consumes up to three percent less fuel on motorways and dual carriageways. In intercity service fuel saving reaches even as much as five percent, thanks in particular to the optimised Predictive Powertrain Control.
Various measures combine to reduce fuel consumption. They include improved aerodynamics: the new MirrorCam replaces the traditional exterior mirrors and reduces aerodynamic drag through its streamlining and small dimensions. The new concave side deflectors also improve the aerodynamics, as does the optimally designed roof spoiler. The new rear axle ratio i = 2.412 also helps lower fuel consumption.
On motorways or cross-country: Predictive Powertrain Control is advancing into a new dimension of fuel-saving driving
The big advances in fuel consumption reduction in intercity service come in particular from expanded functions like the intelligent cruise control and transmission control system, Predictive Powertrain Control. In addition to a satellite-based positioning system, the new generation uses accurate digital road maps that contain data on topography, road bends, the geometry of intersections and roundabouts, as well as traffic signs. Thus, the system doesn’t just optimise the driving style on uphill or downhill gradients, but also on winding cross-country routes along which the use of cruise control previously wasn’t ideal. The overall aim here is for the truck to save as much fuel as possible and to support the driver optimally as well. Moreover, the interaction between Predictive Powertrain Control and Proximity Control Assist improves fuel efficiency: Proximity Control Assist provides information on preceding vehicles, so that Predictive Powertrain Control can ideally plan shift operations and variations in speed.
The system benefits from the PowerShift 3 automated gearshift’s new Economy+ driving mode, designed for an even more economical driving style. The Standard/ Eco/Power drive programs are again standard on the new Actros. Also new: the Predictive Powertrain Control system is now also available for heavy-duty haulage up to 120 tonnes, all-wheel drive vehicles and vehicles with hydraulic auxiliary drive or a turbo retarder clutch.
Leading in efficiency: new rear axle ratio for Actros with OM 471 – on the road more efficiently thanks to intelligent technology
A standard feature, the new gear ratio of i = 2.412 instead of i = 2.533 at the weight-optimised rear axle also contributes to reducing diesel consumption. The engine speed accordingly decreases by nearly five percent. The new gear ratio is available on all new Actros models with the six-cylinder in-line engine OM 471 and 315/70 R 22.5 tyres.
Revolution in human machine interfaces (HMI): the new Multimedia Cockpit with intuitive operation and innovative functions
Immediately eye-catching in the cab of the new Actros is the new Multimedia Cockpit. The core of this newly developed interface between driver and vehicle is two central colour displays. The primary colour display with its high-resolution flat screen technology replaces the traditional instrument cluster with its speedometer, rev counter and fuel gauge. The neatly arranged and clear display informs the driver about all essential driving and operating states, as well as the actions performed by Active Drive Assist, Predictive Powertrain Control and other driver assistance systems of the new Actros. The display can also be personalised.
The second monitor, the secondary display, features touchscreen technology. It enables drivers to conveniently control the majority of functions within the truck. Important functions like the lights, heating, A/C and telephony can also be directly selected with short-cut buttons. The driver can also display the vehicle condition, such as tyre pressure and axle load, at any time.
Numerous connection options for mobile end devices increases the convenience of work and operation in the Multimedia Cockpit. Up to six driver profiles can also be saved in the Multimedia Cockpit by means of the usual driver cards for digital tachograph or for Fleetboard. The primary colour display and the secondary multi-touch display can also be operated via the new multifunction steering wheel with touch control buttons, also known as finger navigation-pads. Swiping or pressing the touch control buttons operates the vehicle systems and retrieves information.
Even larger, even more personalised, even more functions: the Multimedia Cockpit interactive
As an expanded version of the Multimedia Cockpit, Mercedes-Benz Trucks offers in the new Actros the even more extensively networked Multimedia Cockpit interactive, with even more functions. At 12 inches, its primary display is considerably larger. The driver has the choice between the two screen designs “Classic” and “Advanced”. The “Classic” version is the same as the display in the conventional Multimedia Cockpit and can be manually selected by the driver. “Advanced” enables an individual and variable presentation of content in three clusters: a large round display of the speedometer in the centre with driver information, and to the left vehicle-related information like brake pressure, operating temperatures, fuel levels, etc. On the right is driver-related information such as steering and rest times, phonebook and audio. In addition, the display changes to driver assistance graphics optimised for partially automated driving when Active Drive Assist or Proximity Control Assist is activated. It provides the driver with excellent support in monitoring the traffic situation.
Driving, working, living – the new Actros provides an attractive workplace with a unique level of comfort for the driver
Not only in the cockpit, but in the cab as whole, the new Actros banks on innovation for enhancing the driver’s operating comfort. A good example is the new comfort or remote-control key. It allows the driver to conveniently unlock or lock the truck from a distance of up to 50 metres. The radio remote control features direction-independent operation and does not need to be aimed directly at the vehicle. For starting the engine with the engine start/stop button the key need merely be located in the vehicle. Consequently the key may remain in the driver’s trouser or jacket pocket during the trip.
Also increasing convenience is the inductive charging option for the smartphone on the instrument panel of the new Actros and the new interior lighting concept. Incorporating the latest lighting research results, our engineers have ensured optimal illumination of the cab in practically any situation. The new interior lighting is available in three versions: the standard version can fully illuminate the cab and offers two warm-white reading spotlights. For better orientation while driving, there is a discreet blue night driving light. The new, optional LED ambient lighting illuminates the vehicle interior even more comfortably. For example, an additional ambient night-time driving light is available that illuminates the footwell and the cockpit in blue. Finally, a living-area light in amber creates a cosy atmosphere in the living area.
The new Actros becomes part of the “internet of things”: the Truck Data Centre forms the basis for all connectivity solutions
The basis for all connectivity solutions is the Truck Data Centre. It receives data from the sensors, cameras, etc., in the truck and analyses them for different applications. At the same time, as the interface for all connectivity services it is responsible for the truck’s external communications. This connectivity module is the basis for Mercedes-Benz Uptime and all Fleetboard services. The truck is thus continually connected to the cloud and becomes part of the “internet of things”.
Mercedes-Benz Uptime increases vehicle availability through remote diagnosis and smart planning of workshop visits
Reliability is essential for any fleet boss. With the aim of greater vehicle availability, Mercedes-Benz Uptime offers an innovative service product for customers of Mercedes-Benz Trucks through intelligent vehicle networking in real time and through intensive customer care. The fully automatic tele-diagnosis system continuously checks the status of the vehicle systems in the truck in real time. It takes just seconds to interpret the data, identify critical conditions and provide concrete recommendations for action. Should the need for maintenance or repairs be indicated, Mercedes-Benz Service will immediately assist the customer with an individualised solution optimally geared to the particular trip planning and vehicle condition. For customers this affords significantly facilitated scheduling of workshop visits and vehicle availability, so that freight carriers can operate their trucks even more efficiently.
The Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal provides apps for enhancing comfort and efficiency
Networking is also the key to more efficient work through the integration of apps in the truck. The new Actros has a few things to offer in this regard: pressing the “Connect” button in the touch display of the Multimedia Cockpit will take you to the Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal. This is the digital platform for the truck’s array of apps. Here fleet managers and dispatchers can fit the new Actros with apps from Fleetboard, Daimler, partners and third-party providers for increasing convenience and efficiency. The goal is always to make the everyday life of drivers, dispatchers and fleet managers easier. The Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal is an open platform through which third-party providers, partner companies and customers can themselves publish apps following quality and safety inspection.
Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks:
“One thing had top priority for us in developing the new Actros: to understand first of all the requirements of our customers, the drivers and also the society on state-of-the-art trucks. With these requirements in mind we went to work and developed solutions with the clear goal of making the new Actros the safest, most efficient and most connected truck in the world.”
Andreas von Wallfeld, Head of Marketing, Sales and Services at Mercedes-Benz Trucks:
“When it comes to safety, efficiency and connectivity the new Actros offers concrete solutions that will pay off for freight carriers. Take Predictive Powertrain Control, for example: the intelligent cruise control processes high-resolution digital road-maps and automatically regulates the vehicle speed – both on motorways and on winding out-of-town roads. This not only relieves the driver, it also noticeably reduces fuel consumption.”
Michael Dietz, Head of Marketing at Mercedes-Benz Trucks:
“Society demands much of a state-of-the-art truck, but one thing above all: safety in long-distance travel and in town. The new Actros sets benchmarks in this regard: Active Drive Assist keeps the truck both at the right following distance and in its proper lane. And thanks to the improved all-around visibility with MirrorCam, Sideguard Assist and the further improved emergency braking assistance system Active Brake Assist 5, we support the driver in critical traffic situations.”
Prof. Dr. Uwe Baake, Head of Product Engineering at Mercedes-Benz Trucks:
“The development of the new Actros focussed particularly on new assistance systems. For example, with Active Drive Assist we brought partially automated driving to the level of a standard feature – the first truck manufacturer worldwide to do so. This system enables the new Actros not only to accelerate and brake automatically in certain circumstances, but to steer along curves and prevent driving off the road. This makes driving long distances not only more comfortable, but also safer.”
Dr. Rainer Müller-Finkeldei, Head of Mechatronic Development at Mercedes-Benz Trucks:
“Today’s truck drivers have to deal with much more than just driving. They have to maintain contact with the customer and with the dispatcher, plan their routes and react to changes flexibly. The new Actros offers drivers all systems in a clearly arranged interface: the Multimedia Cockpit. So the driver can concentrate on what’s essential: the road.”
Source: Uk Haulier