Safer Ac­tros on show

Owner Driver - - Tech Briefs -

MERCEDES-BENZ re­leased its new Ac­tros in Europe, just in time for the IAA Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles Show, which took place in Hanover, Ger­many in Septem­ber.

Mercedes-Benz says the new Ac­tros is a truck fea­tur­ing pi­o­neer­ing in­no­va­tions in se­ries pro­duc­tion, which im­me­di­ately pay off. The ve­hi­cle is said to in­crease ef­fi­ciency for busi­ness own­ers and com­fort for driv­ers to a pre­vi­ously unattained level, with fuel con­sump­tion fall­ing no­tice­ably while safety and ve­hi­cle avail­abil­ity have been in­creased fur­ther.

The new Mul­ti­me­dia Cock­pit has a com­pletely up­dated in­ter­face be­tween the driver and ve­hi­cle. The driver ben­e­fits from a seam­lessly con­nected workspace with dig­i­tal ser­vices and as­sis­tance sys­tems, which can be used in­tu­itively and sup­port the driv­ers to op­er­ate even more ef­fec­tively.

The dig­i­tal as­pects are also claimed to ben­e­fit fleet man­agers and schedul­ing teams. MercedesBenz says, due to the new Ac­tros’s com­pre­hen­sive con­nec­tiv­ity, it is able to mon­i­tor its trucks in re­al­time with­out in­ter­rup­tion and de­lays. All nec­es­sary main­te­nance and lo­gis­tics pro­cesses, for ex­am­ple, can be per­fectly or­gan­ised and im­me­di­ate re­sponse is pos­si­ble in ur­gent cases.

Ac­cord­ing to Mercedes-Benz, the most im­por­tant fea­ture is the new Ac­tive Drive As­sist. Un­like sys­tems that only work within a cer­tain speed range, Ac­tive Drive As­sist is said to give the driver ac­cess to semi-au­to­mated driv­ing at all speeds for the first time in a se­ries pro­duc­tion truck.

New fea­tures in­clude ac­tive lat­eral con­trol and the com­bi­na­tion of lon­gi­tu­di­nal and lat­eral con­trol at all speed ranges by com­bin­ing radar and cam­era in­for­ma­tion.

Ac­tive Drive As­sist builds on the proven Prox­im­ity Con­trol As­sist sys­tem with stop-and-go func­tion, as well as on the Lane Keep­ing As­sist. Ac­tive Drive As­sist also sig­nals the brakes to kick in if the truck gets too close to a ve­hi­cle driv­ing in front and ac­cel­er­ates again un­til a set speed is reached.

In ad­di­tion, Benz states that if the ve­hi­cle is leav­ing its lane un­in­ten­tion­ally, Ac­tive Drive As­sist in­ter­venes and in­de­pen­dently steers the ve­hi­cle back into its lane. The dis­tance from the ve­hi­cle in front and the ve­hi­cle’s po­si­tion in its lane can be ad­justed in mul­ti­ple stages us­ing the driv­ing as­sis­tance menu.

Com­pared to its pre­de­ces­sor, the new Ac­tros con­sumes up to three per cent less fuel on mo­tor­ways and ex­press­ways. With mileage in long-dis­tance haulage typ­i­cally ex­ceed­ing 120,000 kilo­me­tres per year, this again rep­re­sents a sig­nif­i­cant cost re­duc­tion for the op­er­a­tor. When trav­el­ling on ru­ral routes, the sav­ings can be up to five per cent, as here the ef­fect of the im­proved Pre­dic­tive Pow­er­train Con­trol sys­tem is even more sig­nif­i­cant than be­fore.

In ad­di­tion, Benz says a num­ber of ad­di­tional mea­sures have been in­stru­men­tal in achiev­ing a re­duc­tion in fuel con­sump­tion. They in­clude con­tin­ued im­prove­ments in aero­dy­nam­ics, in­clud­ing the new Mir­rorCam, which re­places the large out­side mir­rors and helps to re­duce wind re­sis­tance con­sid­er­ably due to a stream­lined shape and smaller di­men­sions.

The new, con­cave-shaped cab side de­flec­tors also im­prove aero­dy­nam­ics, as the op­ti­mised de­sign of the roof spoiler does.

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