Ac­tros goes au­ton­o­mous…. well, par­tially

New Zealand Truck & Driver - - News -

MERCEDES BENZ HAS LAUNCHED ITS NEW AC­TROS – claim­ing a world- rst for putting a truck with a par­tially au­ton­o­mous driv­ing sys­tem into se­ries pro­duc­tion.

e lat­est ver­sion of the Merc ag­ship fea­tures Ac­tive Drive As­sist, which can brake, ac­cel­er­ate and steer au­tonomously – and, for the rst time, at any speed.

e new Ac­tros also goes mir­ror­less – in­stead oer­ing “greatly im­proved all-round vis­i­bil­ity” via two cam­eras mounted on the out­side of the truck and two 15-inch dis­plays on the A-pil­lars in­side the cab.

Ste­fan Buch­ner, head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, says that in go­ing into pro­duc­tion with Ac­tive Drive As­sist just four years af­ter it showed o its Mercedes-Benz Fu­ture Truck 2025 driv­ing in fully au­ton­o­mous mode, the truck­maker is “fur­ther ex­tend­ing our lead­ing role for au­to­mated driv­ing.

“With more than 60 in­no­va­tions, the new Ac­tros brings the fu­ture of heavy-duty trucks to the roads to­day.”

e new model, he adds, “brings in­no­va­tions to se­ries pro­duc­tion which pre­vi­ously we only showed on our con­cept ve­hi­cles: Ac­tive Drive As­sist, Mir­rorCam and nu­mer­ous other in­no­va­tions help to make the trans­porta­tion of goods by road even safer, more eŽcient and more pro­duc­tive.

“ e new Ac­tros is al­ready now equipped with what is tech­ni­cally pos­si­ble and com­mer­cially worth­while.”

Ac­tive Drive As­sist builds on the truck­maker’s “tried-and-tested” adap­tive cruise con­trol with stop-and-go func­tion, and its lane-keep­ing as­sis­tant sys­tem.

e lat­est gen­er­a­tion of Merc’s Ac­tive Brake As­sist sees the sys­tem up­graded to bet­ter sup­port the driver when there’s a risk of a rear-end col­li­sion or a col­li­sion with a per­son cross­ing, ap­proach­ing or walk­ing in the truck’s lane – and it will fully ap­ply the brakes au­tonomously if nec­es­sary.

New to the sys­tem is its com­bi­na­tion of radar and a cam­era sys­tem, al­low­ing it to bet­ter mon­i­tor the space ahead of the ve­hi­cle – in par­tic­u­lar, bet­ter pedes­trian de­tec­tion and avoid­ance.

e new Ac­tros also fea­tures a new Mul­ti­me­dia Cock­pit – a “com­pletely up­dated in­ter­face be­tween the driver and ve­hi­cle. e driver bene ts from a seam­lessly con­nected workspace with dig­i­tal ser­vices and as­sis­tance sys­tems, which can be used in­tu­itively and sup­port driv­ers to op­er­ate even more eec­tively.

Two in­ter­ac­tive screens are stan­dard equip­ment and serve as a cen­tral source of in­for­ma­tion in what Merc refers to as “the driver’s dig­i­tal work­place of the fu­ture.”

e Truck Data Cen­tre per­ma­nently con­nects the truck with the Cloud and is the ba­sis for all con­nec­tiv­ity so­lu­tions, such as apps that help the driver per­form trans­port tasks.

e fuel con­sump­tion of the new Ac­tros is reck­oned to be up to 3% bet­ter than the cur­rent model on high­ways and up to 5% bet­ter on coun­try roads.

Con­tribut­ing to the fuel eŽciency gains are the aero­dy­namic im­prove­ments from the mir­ror cams and from new rear-edge aps and more eŽcient gearshift­ing from the in­tel­li­gent Pre­dic­tive Pow­er­train Con­trol (PPC) for cruise-con­trol and gearchang­ing. A new, fuel-sav­ing rear-axle ra­tio is also used.

T&D

Mercedes-Benz says its new Ac­tros is the world’s rst pro­duc­tion truck with a par­tially au­ton­o­mous driv­ing sys­tem...and cam­eras in­stead of mir­rors (in­set top). It also fea­tures a cab in­te­rior (in­set above) that it says is “the driver’s dig­i­tal work­place of the fu­ture”

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