Daimler Trucks is celebrating no less than four world premieres with the presentation of the new Actros – and can justifiably claim that it is the world's most modern truck with more than 60 new features.
The following central aspect was the development focus: how can the next truck generation be made even more noticeably efficient, safe and effective – and more attractive to the driver? The answer is: via the inner values of the Actros. In short, its senses were heightened and its synapses were networked.
In 2014 the idea of an automated truck was born with the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025. With the new Mercedes-Benz Actros, the world's first assistance system for semi-automated driving (Level 2) is now entering series production: Active Drive Assist. This especially supports the driver on monotonous long-distance routes and in tedious tailbacks. Active Drive Assist is not only able to accelerate and brake autonomously, but can also keep the vehicle on track and negotiate bends at both high and low speeds.
Currently unique in the sector: Active Brake Assist 5 is able to respond to pedestrians with emergency braking – whether they are walking ahead of the truck, coming towards it or suddenly cross the road. This capability is anything but trivial – it requires a great deal of computing capacity and systems intelligence.
For the first time the exterior mirrors – the so-called "elephant's ears" – have been done away with. Instead the new Actros is equipped with the MirrorCam as standard. This saves fuel, as the air resistance is much lower than with conventional mirrors. All-round visibility is also improved for the driver. This is how the system works: two displays in the interior show the driver exactly what the cab-mounted cameras can see. And the driver can see even more: digital guide lines provide additional orientation in different driving situations.
The fourth world premiere specifically concerns the truck driver's workplace. The cockpit in the new Actros primarily consists of two large colour displays – the primary, colour display installed behind the steering wheel and the second flat-screen monitor with touchscreen function. The previous wealth of switches, buttons and keys is completely absent. All functions can be controlled via the displays – intuitively, as on a smartphone. Although the number of functions and devices in the cab is constantly increasing, controlling them has been fundamentally simplified.
Further reduction in fuel consumption
The new Actros consumes up to three percent less diesel in long-distance operation, and up to five percent less on inter-city routes, compared to its predecessor. This is partly made possible because it processes high-resolution digital road maps. This means that Predictive Powertrain (PPC) cruise control can also operate on winding inter-city roads and take roundabouts into consideration. Previously the use of cruise control on such routes was unthinkable.
For certain logistical tasks, primarily for heavy distribution operations, the new Actros is also available with natural gas drive. This has even lower CO2 emissions than diesel engines. Further advantages: low noise emissions and zero particulate emissions.