Mercedes-Benz Trucks uses new systems to drive forward truck safety

Nov 7, 2019   Technology

At the Mercedes-Benz Trucks Safety Dialogue was held, experts from politics and business, and from Dekra Accident Research and the Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad-Club e.V. (General Bicycle Association of Germany) discussed innovative solutions for further improving road safety in the context of trucks for all road users.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks presented the new Actros to show just what level of safety is possible on the roads, and what the manufacturer is doing in pursuit of their vision of accident-free driving: for the Stuttgart-based engineers, this path includes cutting-edge active safety systems – which are now on the roads in high numbers. From January 2020, Mercedes-Benz Trucks will equip its heavy model series with the latest generation emergency braking system with pedestrian recognition (ABA 5) Europe-wide as standard. Also, the Sideguard Assist from Mercedes-Benz Trucks, which has been on the market since 2016, is now not only available ex works but also for retrofitting. 

 

It delivers goods straight to the production line, enables house moves all across Europe, picks up our bins and ensures our fridges are kept stocked: the truck. It is almost impossible to imagine what life would look like without it. But if a truck is involved in an accident it's a different matter. In the worst case, the commercial vehicle becomes a vessel that can cause vast human suffering and thus high subsequent costs – both for those directly involved in the accident and also for transport and freight companies. So the message has to be: ensure the highest possible level of safety from the manufacturer's side. 

 

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has always been a pioneer in the industry in this respect. The corporation has invested billions of euros per year in research and development, for assistance systems to give even more support to drivers in their work and increase safety for all road users. 

 

"Our safety assistance systems make an important contribution towards avoiding accidents which is why we aim to bring a great number of them to the roads. If we automatically equip every new Actros with our state-of-the-art emergency braking system starting in the coming year, this number will continue to increase – automatically with every new truck," affirmed Stefan Buchner, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks. 

 

The Safety Dialogue focussed on active safety systems, with the main focus on the new Actros - the state-of-the-art truck. The brand's flagship systematically continues the decade-long safety-oriented tradition of Mercedes-Benz Trucks. At the same time, the latest Actros generation strives to contribute to accident-free road use as far as possible, with its active safety systems, thus coming far closer to the vision of accident-free driving. However, in the case of an impending collision, it is at least important to reduce its impact on all concerned. After all, a 40-tonne truck with a speed of 80 km/h has the kinetic energy of a car doing 400 km/h. If there is a crash with this energy, no crumple zone in the world is enough. 

 

The new Actros in particular is a shining example for the high safety level of modern trucks. This is demonstrated by fifth-generation Active Brake Assist (ABA 5), the emergency braking assistant, Active Drive Assist for semi-automatic driving, MirrorCam instead of main and wide-angle mirrors, and Sideguard Assist with pedestrian and cyclist recognition. ABA 5, as Stefan Buchner announced in Berlin, will be available as standard in Europe from 1 January 2020 in every new Actros and Arocs, as long as a braking assistant is required by law. Similarly, Sideguard Assist from Mercedes-Benz Trucks is now not only available ex works but also as a retrofit equal in quality to the standard solution – for many popular models of the Actros, Arocs and Econic from production year 2017. 

 

The assistance systems from Mercedes-Benz Trucks are all equipped in such a way that the driver receives optimum support within the systems' limits; but the driver's actions – as the law requires – always take precedence over those of the vehicle. The active systems show their real strength in heavy urban traffic and also on narrow country roads or on long, monotonous motorway journeys. 

 

"If you want to see if driving assistance systems really do prevent accidents, just take a look at the statistics," said Stefan Buchner, referring to a study which the Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen (federal road authority) published in 2018. It shows that the number of accidents involving heavy trucks fell by approximately 30 percent between 2002 and 2015. The aim is to reduce this figure even further. "For us, safety is a matter of social responsibility – and we shoulder this responsibility," Stefan Buchner stressed. The recent technological developments show this just as sustainably as the chosen policy of making Sideguard Assist available for retrofitting too, for example. 

 

"The transport industry keeps the world moving," is Stefan Buchner's motto. "And it is our responsibility to support it by making our vehicles even safer still; so that customers of Mercedes-Benz Trucks will still be moving the world in another 120 years."

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