The new Mercedes-Benz Actros – latest version of what is one of the most successful trucks ever to run on Irish roads – has been launched in Ireland.
Flagship of the Mercedes-Benz trucks range and a multiple Truck of the Year winner, this standard-setter in the field of long-distance haulage comes equipped with a range of high-tech features that will surely make it a driver’s dream machine.
Commenting, Fergus Conheady, Sales Manager for Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles in Ireland, said: “Whilst retaining all of the operational excellence that have made successive Actros models the truck-of-choice for so many, this latest version represents a giant leap forward in terms of innovation and its application of latest technology.”
Arguably, its most talked-about feature will be MirrorCam, a new televisual system that replaces both outside mirrors by projecting live pictures captured on two rearward-facing external cameras, positioned on the left and right hand side of the roof frame. These pictures are then projected in real time on to two screens mounted in full view of the driver on the A pillars inside the cab. As the truck manoeuvres, both cameras will pivot accordingly thereby allowing the driver to observe the sides and the end of the truck at all times.
Billed as a ‘revolutionary’ safety feature, the system is said to greatly reduce the risk of an accident by offering better protection and safety to cyclists and pedestrians, by eliminating almost all driver blind spots, and by assisting them in key everyday tasks such as cornering, lane changing and reversing.
The streamlined cameras have the additional benefits of reducing fuel consumption, due to improved aerodynamics, whilst improving visibility through the side door windows. Special distance lines also assist drivers to better estimate following traffic and in manoeuvring, cornering or changing lanes.
A second welcome innovation is its Multimedia Cockpit. Two large dash-mounted screens replace the conventional instrument cluster to give the driver touchscreen access to information, navigation and other control functions that improve operating comfort. Valuable also is its capability to monitor and feedback data on the truck’s performance in real time. One touchscreen facilitates the operation of a new navigation system and apps from the Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal.
A third that drivers will regard as a milestone in truck development is the optional Active Drive Assist system that delivers partially automated driving in all speed ranges by orienting itself by a camera that monitors markings on the road. Though viewed only as an assistance system, it does not relieve drivers of their permanent responsibility for what the vehicle does in traffic.
The fourth new Actros feature is the more sophisticated Active Brake Assist 5, a new generation of the emergency braking assist system. Seen only as a driver assistance system, Active Brake Assist 5 is better able to respond thanks to a combination of radar and camera systems, giving important support when the risk of a collision arises. The driver continues to have full responsibility for driving the vehicle safely, its automatic maximum full-stop braking is just one of the benefits it brings.
Finally, the fifth of many new features of the new Actros is the latest generation of Predictive Powertrain Control – a system that works to reduce fuel consumption even further thanks to its expanded cruise control and inter urban control systems – with some models also equipped with new fuel-saving rear axle ratios.
“In essence, the new Actros embodies the sum of all that has been required by drivers and owners alike” Mr. Conheady said. “In matters of safety and effectiveness of operation, driver comfort, economy, operational monitoring, and base-to-truck communications – and in terms of its design and appearance – it is the most interactive Actros ever.”