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Mercedes-Benz launches the New Actros


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Stuttgart, 5 September 2018 – World premiere for the new Actros in Berlin. Just in time for the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show, which is taking place in Hanover, Germany, from 20 to 27 September 2018, Mercedes-Benz is today unveiling the new flagship from Mercedes-Benz Trucks to the world's press at the Premiere Night.

Automated driving starts here: new Active Drive Assist

To support drivers as well as to further enhance safety and comfort, Mercedes-Benz Trucks is bringing semi-automated driving to series production: the new Active Drive Assist can brake, accelerate and steer. The system offers semi-automated driving at all speed ranges, not just some.

Up to five percent less fuel consumption

The fuel consumption of the new Actros has once again been reduced compared to previous models and it achieves savings of up to three percent on motorways and as much as five percent on rural routes. Aerodynamic improvements have been achieved thanks to MirrorCam and new cab side deflectors. Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC), an intelligent cruise control, works considerably more efficiently than before and can now be used on rural routes, too, thanks to additional map data. New, fuel-saving rear axle ratios are also being deployed.

First series production truck with MirrorCam replacing outside mirrors to increase safety and efficiency

The main mirrors and wide-angle mirrors have been replaced on the new Actros by the MirrorCam as part of the standard equipment. The MirrorCam represents a tremendous improvement in terms of aerodynamics, safety and vehicle handling. This system provides a significantly improved all-round view and consists of two cameras mounted to the exterior of the vehicle and two 15-inch displays on the A-pillars inside the cab.

Active Brake Assist 5: the next generation of emergency braking assistance system

Active Brake Assist 5 supports the driver in case of a potential rear-end collision or a collision with a person who is crossing in front of the vehicle, coming towards it or staying in the same lane – if required initiating maximum full braking to standstill automatically. As of now Active Brake Assist 5 works with a combination of a radar and camera system. This enables the system to monitor the space in front of the vehicle even better and respond to people even more effectively.

All assistance systems in all Mercedes-Benz vehicles work within system limits at all times to their full capacity. The driver retains full responsibility with respect to the road and traffic conditions.

Connectivity and intuitive operation thanks to Multimedia Cockpit and more new features

The new Actros with its fully updated Multimedia Cockpit offers the driver a unique level of operational convenience and display comfort. Two interactive screens as standard serve as the central source of information in the driver's digital cockpit of the future. Assistance systems are visualised here, as well as all basic information which is relevant to the driver. Connectivity is now reality in the Actros: smartphones can be connected via Apple CarPlayTM or Android Auto. Apps help the driver to fulfil their transportation tasks. The Truck Data Centre connects the truck permanently to the cloud and forms the basis of all connectivity solutions. Real-time monitoring of the truck via Fleetboard and Mercedes-Benz Uptime brings added value for the business owner. The driver also enjoys greater ease of operation thanks to the new remote-control key provided as standard.

Functionality and aesthetics in harmony: the progressive interior and exterior design of the new Actros

The development of the interior design of the new Actros has revolved systematically around the driver – working from the "inside out" as a principle. The result is a modern truck interior. The new "user experience" for the driver governed the entire design process. The strongest manifestation of this is in the new Multimedia Cockpit, which takes the Actros to the digital age. Touch functionality, the widescreen format for the displays, as well as details of the surfaces, trim elements and the few remaining analogue switches, are all hallmarks of the modern, high-quality interior of the new flagship from Mercedes-Benz Trucks. On the exterior, the omission of conventional outside mirrors gives the proportions of the Actros an even more homogeneous appearance. The dynamic styling of the MirrorCam and the characteristic front headlamps featuring LED technology create a progressive look for the new Mercedes-Benz Actros.

Innovation for construction sites: the new Actros is the force behind the new Arocs

A reduction in total overall costs, a high level of safety and maximum vehicle availability are crucial factors when it comes to transportation on construction sites, too. That is why numerous product highlights from the new Actros are also available on the new Arocs. For example, every Arocs comes with improved Predictive Powertrain Control as standard, which displays its strengths in construction traffic in particular, characterised by its multiple, often short, interurban runs.



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Meet Mercedes-Benz’ tech-laden new Actros

Jeff Crissey, Commercial Carrier Journal (CCJ)  /  September 18, 2018

On the eve IAA 2018, the world’s largest commercial vehicle show in Hannover, Germany, Daimler Trucks introduced the new Mercedes-Benz Actros. More than just a vehicle refresh, Daimler says the production-series cabover is the realization of its Future Truck 2025 initiative rolled out four years earlier.

The Future Truck’s fingerprints indeed are all over the new Actros, which boasts more than 16 new intelligent system features and four industry-firsts for production vehicles: a digital multimedia cockpit, semi-autonomous driver assistance, active braking on pedestrians and camera-based sideview monitoring.

Regulations, size and weight restrictions, geography and customer needs clearly separate the new Actros from its Freightliner Cascadia sibling in North America, but Daimler consistently has demonstrated a willingness to introduce new truck features in other markets when demands and customer needs change. Here is a closer look at some of the major announcements of the new Actros:


While current Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations require physical exterior side-view mirrors on trucks operating in the United States, new European regulations passed earlier this summer allow Daimler to replace conventional mirrors with MirrorCam, a new system that uses external cameras on the new Actros to display truck surroundings on two 15-inch displays mounted to the A pillars. A standard feature on the new Actros, MirrorCam is designed to increase overall side visibility and Daimler says the elimination of conventional mirrors improves aerodynamics and enhances diagonal visibility past the A pillars.

“The MirrorCam increases the safety and aerodynamic efficiency,” said Gorden Wagener, chief design officer for Daimler AG. “I’m glad we were able to transform the new Actros into the digital age.”

MirrorCam also displays virtual distance lines to assist the driver when steering in reverse and backing to a loading dock. A customizable reference line, such as one to represent the end of the trailer, can be added for more precise maneuvering applications.

Active Drive Assist

Building on the stop-and-go and lane keep assist functions in the current Actors, the new Actros’ Active Drive Assist system delivers SAE Level-2 automated driving with the addition of autonomous control of the distance between the truck and the forward vehicle as well as automatic lane guidance that combines camera-based active lane tracking with corrective steering.

“Active Drive Assist can maintain the vehicle in the lane at all speeds to support drivers on long-distance roads and traffic jams, making the new Actros the first to do so in our industry,” said Stefan Buchner, head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, adding the driver must still have his hands on the wheel at all times. “

Active Drive
Assist significantly reduces the risk of accidents and the costs of a vehicle leaving its lane. It is a huge step forward in terms of safety.”

Active Brake Assist 5

The new Active Brake Assist 5 system, which uses a Bendix-like camera and radar combination for object detection, now offers full emergency braking on pedestrian detection up to 50 kmph (32 mph). The camera and radar system has a pedestrian detection range of 80 to 100 meters in normal weather conditions, compared to 250 meters for vehicle detection.

The system also updates the 2016-introduced Sideguard Assist, a feature that now alerts the driver to pedestrians and cyclists in addition to cars using two radar sensors mounted near the truck’s rear axle on the right side to provide audible, visual and haptic warnings. Mercedes-Benz says it soon will offer active braking in conjunction with its Sideguard Assist system.

Multimedia cockpit

Behind the wheel, the new Actros’ cockpit is a near carbon copy of the Future Truck 2025 concept. A large driver display with capacitive-touch controls mounted on the steering wheel replaces the traditional instrument cluster and gauges. A second display with touchscreen capability to the driver’s right side replaces many of the non-critical physical switches and buttons from the previous-generation Actros, including media, navigation, phone and climate control, using the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) platform.

“We have placed 80 percent of all uses cases in the first two [screens],” said Wagener of the MBUX interface.


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Daimler displays safety-first philosophy in launch

John G. Smith, Today’s Trucking  /  September 18, 2018

HANNOVER, Germany – Safety is the name of the game, and Daimler has clearly raised that game with an array of new features unveiled during the IAA truck show.

The latest generation of Europe’s cabover Actros tractor includes no fewer than 60 new features, four of which have made world premiers. But in a launch event branded as “transforming transportation”, the focuses on visibility, pedestrian detection, and automated braking took center stage.

Active Brake Assist 5, for example, offers driving support at speeds up to 50 km/h – using a radar-based system that detects pedestrians more than a meter tall. After the system warns a driver about the person ahead of the truck, it will fully apply the brakes automatically. Earlier generations of such collision-mitigation systems have only been able to detect objects like vehicles, or offered just partial braking.

Active Drive Assist, meanwhile, combines active longitudinal and lateral controls at all speeds, using cameras and radar to read the area ahead of the truck, intervening with steering support to help keep an equipped vehicle in its lane. It builds on the existing Proximity Control Assist system with stop-and-go functions, as well as Lane Keeping Assist. If the truck gets too close to another vehicle, the brakes are applied. When the vehicle ahead begins to speed up, the truck accelerates back to a predetermined speed.

Meanwhile, pedestrians or cyclists too close to the right side of a vehicle are better protected through Sideguard Assist with Pedestrian Detection, offering the truck driver a combination of visual and acoustic warnings. It’s something that will be particularly handy when making right turns in urban areas.

Visibility has also been enhanced with a new MirrorCam system that displays images on two large vertical screens mounted on the A pillars, largely eliminating some of the traditional blind spots associated with traditional West Coast mirrors.

It’s more than a simple camera image, however. A series of lines that overlay the video image help drivers to better determine distances. When reversing, the upper display shows the area close to the vehicle, while the lower display shows the area further away. A driver-initiated setting will keep the back of the trailer in the center of the screen as the truck backs around a corner. And the display will even show warnings from a Sideguard Assist system.

An added advantage to using a camera-based system is improved aerodynamics, playing a role in helping the latest generation of the Actros to improve fuel economy by a reported 3% on the highway and 5% in urban settings.

The new Actros with an L cab or above comes standard with the MirrorCam system instead of a conventional mirror. North American regulations still require traditional mirrors, though.

But the broader story comes from more than any single system. In many cases, the new capabilities overlap and strengthen each other. Active Drive Assist, for example, draws data from the latest generation of Daimler’s Predictive Powertrain Control, and uses the same radar and camera-based technologies as Active Brake Assist 5.

Updates are not limited to safety systems alone, either. New multimedia displays in the cab also replace traditional switches and buttons, with the new Actros featuring two centrally located color displays. The conventional instrument cluster with speedometer, tachometer and fuel gauge now appears on a flat screen. The secondary display is a touchscreen to offer controls, with added functionality offered through the networked Multimedia Cockpit.

Other Actros features announced today include:

  • Predictive Powertrain Control, a cruise control system that recognizes junctions and roundabouts.

  • A refined Uptime service, with real-time monitoring of all key vehicle functions, including the ability to control trailer functions. This year, Service 24h will offer real-time breakdown monitoring and repair status.

  • The Fleetboard Cockpit, which includes a communication platform for truck drivers known as the Fleetboard Driver App, and a service that reports anomalies between fuel consumption and refueling data for Fleetboard Fuel loss.

“We deliver innovation and progress because there’s always a better, stronger, simpler way to do it,” a video proclaimed. “We’ve been transforming transportation since 1896 and we’ll continue doing so to keep the world moving.”

“We know what’s possible with technology,” Daimler Trucks and Buses CEO Martin Daum said, challenging those who might suggest the company is slow to introduce new technologies to the market. “We don’t promise. We deliver.”

The question now is how long it will be before such technological advancements appear in Freightliner’s New Cascadia. The global manufacturer often adopts many of its innovations on both sides of the Atlantic.


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Daimler Trucks Touts Technology Advances Ahead of IAA Show

Deborah Lockridge, Heavy Duty Trucking (HDT)  /  September 18, 2018

Daimler kicked off the bi-annual IAA Commercial Vehicles Show in Hannover, Germany, with a flashy highlight of its latest high-tech and electric trucks, vans, and buses for some 500 media representatives from 45 countries.

In 2014, recalled Stefan Buchner, head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Daimler Trucks hosted global journalists for a special demonstration of the Future Truck 2025 concept truck, which demonstrated automated driving functions on a closed section of German autobahn.

“It still gives me goosebumps” to think about it, he told reporters gathered at an airline hangar. “The Future Truck inspired the whole world. Now it’s arrived – the future is here. Four years after presenting the vision of the Future Truck, we are introducing a series production truck with many of the same advantages.”

The new Mercedes-Benz Actros has more than 60 new features. According to Buchner, four of them are world “firsts,” some of which could well make their way into North American trucks in the future (just as the Future Truck 2025 demonstration in 2014 was followed up by the Freightliner Inspiration Truck driving itself across Hoover Dam for reporters the following year.)

1. Multimedia cockpit

Instead of gauges and buttons, the dash features two flat screens, like elongated tablets. Both can be controlled via thumbpads on the steering wheel, and the right-hand one is also an intuitive touchscreen.

2. Active Drive

This feature builds on adaptive cruise control to put partially automated driving into series production. The new Active Drive Assist can brake, accelerate and steer independently. Unlike systems that only work at certain speeds, Active Drive Assist offers the driver partially automated driving in all speed ranges for the first time in a series-produced truck, according to Daimler. New elements are the active latitudinal control and the combination of longitudinal and lateral control in all speed ranges through the fusion of radar and camera information. If the truck drifts from its lane, it can automatically steer itself back. “It’s an important step to support the driver, especially on long-distance routes and in annoying traffic jams,” Buchner said. “But as we are still in partly automated mode, he still has his hands on the steering wheel.”

3. Active Brake Assist 5 

Since the launch of Active Brake Assist 1 in 2006, nearly 230,000 trucks from Mercedes-Benz have been sold with the emergency braking assistant on board. Active Brake Assist 5 supports the driver when there is a danger of a rear-end collision or a collision with person crossing, oncoming or walking in the truck’s lane – with an automatic full application of the brakes if necessary. Active Brake Assist 5 now works with a combination of radar and a camera system. This allows it to monitor the space ahead of the vehicle even better and to react to persons in the road even better.

4. Mirror-cams 

The main mirrors and wide-angle mirrors on the new Actors have been replaced by mirror-cams as standard equipment. The mirror-cam The system offers greatly improved all-round visibility, better aerodynamics for improve fuel efficiency, and consists of two cameras mounted on the outside of the vehicle and two 15-inch displays on the A-pillars inside the driver's cab. 

Daimler also highlighted its electromobility progress, with a dazzling array of electric vehicles from vans to buses to heavy trucks driving silently into the hangar accompanied by dramatic music and lighting.

One of those was the eActros concept truck. Martin Zeilinger, head of advanced engineering, told reporters that 10 logistics companies are involved in the testing/demonstration phase, including Nagel, Dachser, Meyer Logistics, and others. The testing will be done in two periods of one year each. Most of the test vehicles are in a 6x2 configuration, but they also are testing some 4x2s.

Zeilinger emphasized that the trucks are designed for practical use and a realistic payload, although they’ll still not be able to carry as much payload as a comparable diesel thanks to the weight of batteries and other equipment. He said they have been validated for up to 200 kilometers of range. Recharging time varies from two to 11 hours depending on the charging option being used.

Also on display at IAA are several series-produced or series-ready electric vehicle models: the Mercedes-Benz eVito, eSprinter vans, the Fuso eCanter and the 'Jouley' from Thomas Built Buses. In addition, the Concept Sprinter F-Cell and the E-Fuso Vision One both provide insights into the electric future.


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Ahead of IAA, Daimler shows the future is drawing closer

Neil Abt, Fleet Owner  /  September 18, 2018

HANOVER, Germany. In the summer of 2014, Daimler Trucks unveiled Future Truck 2025, which in many ways ushered in a new era of trucking.

After demonstrating a self-driving truck on a closed stretch of the Autobahn that July, the company used the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in the fall to display a sleek, modern design for that Mercedes-Benz concept truck.

I attended both events that year and was among those left feeling that while Daimler had successfully created an attention-grabbing vehicle, there remained many questions about how "real" any of what we were seeing really was.

Fast forward to 2018, and it seems Daimler is on its way to proving skeptics like myself wrong.

"The future is here," declared Stefan Buchner, head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, during a media event on Sept. 18, one day ahead of the start of the 2018 IAA show.

Buchner made the comment as he emerged from the new Mercedes-Benz Actros, which he said incorporates numerous features from the conceptual Future Truck. 

The Actros, which is basically the European equivalent of the Freightliner Cascadia, included several “world premieres.” That is important for North American trucking fleets because anything debuting at IAA is likely coming to North America in the near future.

The new Actros includes active drive assist, which "gives the driver access to semi-automated driving at all speeds for the first time in a series production truck," Daimler said. It can apply full emergency braking up to a speed of about 32 mph.

This supports all drivers, "especially on monotonous, long-distance roads and [in] annoying traffic jams," Buchner said. Additionally, sideguard assist technology provides visible warnings if a pedestrian or cyclist is in a blind spot. 

Another new feature is MirrorCam, based on concepts first seen on the Future Truck. The system, which replaces traditional side mirrors, offers a wider range of vision and background illumination to adjust for poor lighting.

Inside the cab, there is also a multimedia cockpit display aimed at simplifying the business and infotainment options a truck driver often accesses while in motion. That, too, is based on systems first shown in the Future Truck.

While the new Actros is a more traditional cabover design for the European market, the electric eActros also on display is similar to that sleek Future Truck shown back in 2014. It was another example of how those four-year old concepts are becoming a reality. 

Daimler’s pre-IAA event, attended by 500 journalists from 45 countries, included various electrification and connectivity advancements for its truck, van, and bus products. I will be covering these developments next week, as well as other highlights from the hundreds of other companies exhibiting at IAA.

If today’s event was any indication, it is certain to be a fascinating few days.


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New Mercedes-Benz Actros Showcases Daimler’s Next-Gen Safety Technologies

Joe Howard, Transport Topics  /  September 18, 2018

HANOVER, Germany — Touting technology that is as “easy to use as a smartphone,” Daimler AG on Sept. 18 showcased safety systems on the next generation of its global highway tractor that it said points the way forward for connectivity in the commercial sector.

Hosting 500 members of the international press from 45 countries in a hangar at the Hanover airport, Daimler in a media event prior to IAA 2018 showcased its new Mercedes-Benz Actros highway tractor, a key component of its global lineup and a vehicle that features a suite of technologies that the company says will make the truck a safer tool for its customers.

That includes a suite of safety systems designed to limit the potential for accidents, including Active Drive Assist, which will intervene if, for example, a truck accidentally leaves its lane due to wind. In this case, the system will steer the truck back into its lane. This system also will apply brakes if it detects an object in the vehicle’s way or if the truck gets too close to another vehicle.

“That is a huge step forward in terms of safety,” said Stefan Buchner, head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, during a presentation here. “Dealing with this truck is as easy as using a smartphone.”

Also included is Active Brake Assist 5, an enhancement of Active Brake Assist 4 that improves how the radar and camera systems interact and which can react to people that cross the vehicle’s path at speeds of up to 50 kph (31 mph). The system can apply full braking in these cases. If the system detects either a pedestrian or a stationary object, the system alerts the driver through a multistage warning system. If the driver does not intervene, the system will apply emergency braking, within specified limits.

Daimler also is introducing its “MirrorCam” technology on the truck, which uses cameras to replace mirrors. The system, Buchner said, gives the driver “much-better all-around visibility from the interior — the driver can see exactly what the cameras are seeing,” via screens inside the cab.

This includes multiple camera functions, including one that resembles the view of a conventional mirror, along with a view shown when taking corners that includes the tractor and trailer, Daimler said. Distance lines also are incorporated to help the driver assess traffic coming up from behind. There also is an additional line that can be individually set to show the end of the trailer.

When the vehicle is reversing, the system gives the driver a split view; the upper section of the display shows the area closer to the truck, while the lower part displays the area away from the vehicle.

“We are not only thinking about the future — we are creating it,” Buchner said.

The company’s near-term future in terms of sales is bright, said Martin Daum, global head of Daimler Trucks and Buses. In introductory remarks, he said orders are up 30% for the first half of the year and that Daimler “remains optimistic” for the rest of 2018. He said the company is “basically sold out for the year” and predicted that 2018 will be a record year for the manufacturer.

“We are very busy these days,” he said.


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