Mercedes Launches Truck with Driver Assistance Tech

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a new, semi-autonomous line of its Actros trucks that feature the carmaker’s new driver assistance technology.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks launched the new vehicles at a press conference. In a press release that followed it, the company said the new model of the long-standing Actros truck would be “partially automated”. It claimed the truck’s “most important and most spectacular innovation is active drive assist” (ADA), software that will purportedly allow for it to be steered, accelerated and braked independently.

Mercedes says what sets this technology apart from pre-existing technologies of its type is its incorporation of “active latitudinal control and the combination of longitudinal and lateral control” so the truck can be driven semi-autonomously across all speed ranges for the first time. It does this by gathering data from radar and cameras.

It also claims the technology represents an improvement upon adaptive cruise control (ACC) systems through the addition of Mercedes’ lane-keeping assistance and stop-and-go technology, the latter of which already features in the carmaker’s existing Acros models. It says while ADA will make “an important contribution to increased road safety”, the new Actros will still need a human driver who will take ultimate responsibility for the monitoring of traffic.

The trucks will also feature the latest version of Mercedes’ active brake assist (ABA) technology, ABA 5. ABA monitors the vehicle’s surroundings to warn the driver of the possibility of a rear-end collision or a collision with a pedestrian. ABA 5 purports to offer an additional level of safety by combining radars with cameras. The company claims this will result in faster reaction times to pedestrians and improved monitoring of the vehicle’s surroundings.

The new Actros also has mirror cameras where the main and wide-angle mirrors on previous models were. The company claims this will lead to better “aerodynamics, safety and vehicle handling”. The vehicle’s mirror camera system is comprised of two cameras mounted on its exterior and two display screens inside the driver’s cab. Mercedes says it’s the first series-produced truck to offer such a system, though in-vehicle camera firm Orlaco has been developing similar technology for some time now. Additionally, the vehicle will be permanently connected to the cloud via the truck data center (TDC).

Commenting on the launch, Mercedes-Benz Trucks head Stefan Buchner said the new Actros would have approximately “60 new innovations based, we say, on our four columns. One of them is efficiency, the other one is safety, the next one is comfort and the last one is connectivity”.


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