Head-protecting airbag an Australian-first

Freightliner Australia will introduce a head-protecting side airbag on the Cascadia heavy-duty truck later this year, further extending its safety leadership in the conventional truck class.

The Cascadia is still the only bonneted truck in Australia to be fitted with a steering wheel mounted airbag. It will also become the only manufacturer to offer a head-protecting side airbag in a bonneted truck in Australia.

Daimler Truck and Bus Australia Pacific President and CEO, Daniel Whitehead, says Daimler is excited to further advance safety in the conventional truck class in Australia. “There is no good reason why conventional truck drivers in Australia should not be able to drive a truck fitted with the latest safety features,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter whether you are driving a truck with, or without a bonnet, your safety is just as important,” Whitehead added.

Daimler continues to be a frontrunner on safety with Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner and Fuso brands, with the latter recently becoming the first manufacturer to fit an Advanced Emergency Braking System across its light, medium and heavy duty ranges in Australia.

The Cascadia’s head-protecting side airbag is specially developed for the Australian market with partner RollTek by IMMI to ensure it caters for local preferences. As a result, it can be used with standard Cascadia seats.

In the United States, the RollTek airbag system is seat-mounted, while the seatbelts are mounted to the truck’s B-pillar.

Australian drivers prefer the belts to be tethered to the seat instead of the B-pillar, allowing the belts to move up and down with the seat and the driver, which is incompatible with the US seat-based airbag deployment system. RollTek instead developed an Australian head-protecting airbag that is mounted on the truck’s B-pillar.

Freightliner Trucks Australia Pacific Director, Stephen Downes, says the company is committed to raising the bar in the conventional truck class.

“A conventional truck with fully integrated advanced safety technology like Detroit Assurance 5.0 and not one but two airbags is exactly what many of our customers have been asking for in this class,” said Downes.

“Considering the Cascadia’s fantastic fuel economy and advanced comfort, the new safety addition only makes the business case stronger.”

The Cascadia comes standard with the Detroit Assurance 5.0 safety package, which features AEBS and adaptive cruise control as well as Tailgate Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Intelligent High Beam, while Automatic Wipers and Headlamps are also standard.

Customers are able to order the new head-protecting side airbag later this year.

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