Safety for all: Sideguard assists as retrofit solutions for both trucks, buses and coaches

The highest possible level of safety for all road users and the vision of accident-free driving are the aims which traditionally drive Daimler Trucks and Buses. A range of safety assistance systems for heavy commercial vehicles have made their market début in trucks, buses and coaches from Mercedes-Benz and Setra, including the world's first fully-integrated Sideguard Assist for trucks. Mercedes-Benz and Setra are now also offering sideguard assist as retrofit solutions for almost all trucks, buses and coaches made by the two brands. And in doing so, Mercedes-Benz and Setra are again leading the way to higher safety on our roads.

Sideguard assist supports drivers of trucks, buses and coaches especially in complex city traffic

Sideguard assist are primarily for the protection of cyclists and pedestrians as well as those riding electric scooters – the most vulnerable road users. Especially in city traffic, such systems help truck and bus drivers to carry out their highly responsible and difficult job.

Turning off in the direction of the co-driver is among the most difficult and risky tasks which a truck or bus driver has to carry out. Not only do they have to look ahead for traffic lights, signs, oncoming and crossing traffic, but they also have to keep an eye on any road users who may be alongside the vehicle. And that's without taking into account the weather or the time of day. Moreover, the traffic situation can change in seconds. What's more, pedestrians and cyclists alongside the vehicle are not always aware of the fact that a truck or bus driver may not even be able to see them. Yet it is these unprotected road users in particular who are most at risk of being involved in a collision.

Sideguard assist can make an important contribution here. For example, accident research carried out by insurance companies anticipates around half of all accidents between trucks and cyclists being avoidable in conjunction with such a system. The number of associated fatalities can ideally be reduced by almost one third, and the number of serious injuries by more than 40 percent.

The Mercedes-Benz Sideguard Assist has the ability to detect moving or stationary objects in the monitoring zone along the nearside of the truck. Those objects may include pedestrians, cyclists, road signs or even e-scooters.

Mercedes-Benz and Setra: the right assistance for every vehicle

For almost every truck and bus from Mercedes-Benz and Setra, there is now a suitable assistance system for driving in city traffic, be that ex works or using a retrofit solution: with the sideguard assist, Mercedes-Benz and Setra are yet again one step ahead of the equipment which is prescribed by law. Sideguard assist for trucks will only be a requirement in the EU from 2022 for new vehicle models and two years later for all existing model series. For newly registered long trucks, sideguard assist will already be a requirement in Germany from July 2020.

In 2016 Mercedes-Benz Trucks presented the world's first sideguard assist for Mercedes-Benz trucks that was fully-integrated into the vehicle architecture and since then has successively introduced it in its various truck model series. And it's in high demand: in Germany today, more than every second Actros is delivered with Sideguard Assist ex works.

Just one year later, Sideguard Assist celebrated its début for coaches in a Setra. In the meantime, it is also available in a range of buses and coaches from both Mercedes-Benz and Setra. The proportion here is as high as 60 percent depending on the model series, and it's a growing trend. In offering sideguard assist for retrofitting, Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Buses and Setra are now expanding the offer.

Since the end of 2019: fully-integrated Mercedes-Benz Sideguard Assist S1R as a retrofit solution for heavy goods vehicles

Since the end of 2019, the fully-integrated Sideguard Assist – also known as S1R – from Mercedes-Benz Trucks is no longer only available to order ex works, but now also as a retrofit solution which provides the same functionality as the series-production variant – and that across many popular models from the Actros, Arocs and Econic truck family from 2017 onwards.

The centrepiece of the system is two close-range radar sensors on the frame along the nearside, in front of the truck's rear axle. They cover a complete lane, 3.75 m in width, along the complete length of a tractor/trailer combination measuring 18.75 metres plus two metres to the front and up to one metre to the rear of the vehicle. Sideguard Assist issues multi-stage visual warnings using an LED in triangular form in the A-pillar or a triangular warning symbol in the MirrorCam display on the co-driver's side as well as acoustically on that same side to draw the driver's attention to moving or stationary objects on the co-driver's side. One significant aspect is that the system also takes into account the sweep curve of the trailer or semitrailer and, here too, warns of the risk of a collision with stationary obstacles such as traffic lights or streetlights.

Now new: Sideguard Assist, basic as a retrofit solution for trucks, buses and coaches

Another new retrofit solution also demonstrates a high performance: the Mercedes-Benz Genuine Accessory, Sideguard Assist, basic is available for the Atego and for those Actros, Antos and Arocs which cannot be retrofitted with the fully-integrated Sideguard Assist variant available ex works. This Sideguard Assist is also available as a retrofit solution for buses and coaches from Mercedes-Benz and Setra.

This turning assistant is also radar-based. An individual short-range radar sensor installed on the co-driver's side monitors a zone to the side of the vehicle of up to three metres in width and twelve metres in length. If a moving or stationary object is detected in the monitoring zone to the side of the vehicle, the driver is warned visually by an LED lamp and, if the turn signal has been activated, acoustically.

A view of the surroundings: the camera-based SurroundView system available for all truck model series

If it is not possible to retrofit Sideguard Assist on older vehicles or for technical reasons, for example, a Mercedes-Benz Genuine Accessory, the camera-based assistance system SurroundView can help the driver to maintain an overview in critical situations. This system can be retrofitted in all Mercedes-Benz trucks. It shows the driver the vehicle surroundings on a 7-inch display and, by providing an improved all-round view, can contribute towards reducing the risk of collision when turning or manoeuvring. Here the modular SurroundView system with up to four cameras is used.

The driver can either toggle between each of these using a button, or can have them shown automatically using defined control signals (triggers). Especially useful: if, in a particular traffic situation, several camera angles are relevant, the screen can be divided into several views in split screen mode. Thus, when turning off into another road or manoeuvring, drivers have a much better view of their surroundings.

The safety assistance systems by Mercedes-Benz and Setra make an important contribution towards avoiding accidents. Which is why it is all the more important to bring a large number of these systems to the road. With these new retrofit solutions for its trucks, buses and coaches. Daimler Trucks and Buses has thus reached another important milestone on its way to accident-free driving.

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