BTS 2023

Mercedes-Benz reveals new safety features for rigid range

Mercedes-Benz Trucks unveiled the extension of the Active Brake Assist 5 advanced safety package to cover its entire Australian and New Zealand rigid highway range at the Brisbane Truck Show today.

The full suite was not previously available with the 8×4 Arocs model given application-related packaging restrictions.

After overcoming engineering challenges, the 8×4 now features the radar-based Active Brake Assist package alongside its long list of existing safety features including Electronic Stability Program, driver airbag and Lane Departure Warning System.

The Mercedes-Benz Trucks rigid range was upgraded last year, with new key innovations introduced, including the Multimedia Cockpit, which consists of two large flat panel screens on the dashboard.

Available in 10 and 12-inch sizes, these high-resolution screens display information in a clear and easy-to-read format. One screen sits beyond the steering wheel and replaces a traditional instrument cluster with a clearly arranged presentation of vehicle data and operating status. It can be controlled by the new steering wheel-mounted Touch Control Buttons.

The left display is a touchscreen unit and can be used to control a vast array of features and examine more information. Although it brings the benefit of touch control, there is also a row of dedicated traditional buttons below the screen to control high-use functions including volume and temperature.

The rigid range is now also available with the optional Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) feature. PPC improves the way the engines and the fully automated transmissions are controlled in order to save fuel by adding anticipation technology to the fuel saving mix.

PPC uses topographical information, including pre-mapped three-dimensional GPS data, to enable the truck to make the best, and most economical, choice of throttle application and gear selection.

On steep hills, ahead of a hilltop, coasting down a hill, in dips or on the flat, PPC recognises impending driving situations in good time and takes anticipatory action. This could mean holding on to a gear, rather than changing up, just before the crest of the hill, or briefly selecting neutral to save fuel in the appropriate conditions.

Another option available for the rigid range is the MirrorCam system, with both safety and aerodynamic advantages from removing the traditional mirrors.

There is also a dramatic improvement in visibility. This comes, firstly, from the removal of the traditional mirror and its housing from the driver’s view. This improvement is especially evident at intersections.

The footage from the cameras is shown on 15-inch screens that are mounted in the cabin on the inside surface of the A-pillars.

The Active Brake Assist 5 system uses a radar and camera that work together to try and prevent avoidable collisions. It has the capability to bring the truck to a complete halt when it detects moving pedestrians.

The system can also stop completely for moving or stationary vehicles when the driver may be distracted, something that is proven to save lives and reduce road trauma. The Advanced Emergency Braking System, called Active Brake Assist, is designed to avoid or reduce the impact of collisions including heavy vehicles.

The new Mercedes-Benz rigid range also features Lane Keeping Assist, which alerts the driver if the truck drifts out the lane without the indicator on and Attention Assist, which alerts the driver who is beginning to drive in a fatigue-affected manner.

A very popular part of the safety technology suite is Proximity Control Assist; an adaptive cruise control function that can modulate the speed of the truck in traffic, even when the traffic grinds to a halt.

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