Whether in terms of efficiency, safety or comfort, the Mercedes-Benz Actros has been setting a high standard for trucks in the long-distance haulage and heavy-duty distribution haulage sectors since 1996. The latest Actros generation, from 2018 onward, has continually set new milestones with a multitude of innovations in the field of digitalisation, networking and safety. Innovations such as the Multimedia Cockpit, MirrorCam, partially automated driving functions and enhanced safety systems ensure that the Actros admirably fulfils the increasing demands of the road haulage sector while sustainably supporting the driver in completing his or her tasks. Following on from the launch of two new models in 2021 – the Actros F with its focus on functionality and the limited edition Actros Edition 2 – Mercedes-Benz Trucks is now introducing the Actros L, the largest and most equipped of this successful model series. The heavy-duty truck with conventional diesel powertrain can be ordered Europe-wide from 1 July 2021 on and goes into production in November 2021.
Enhanced driver comfort
The Mercedes Benz Actros L with 2.5 meters wide driver cabin is available in StreamSpace, BigSpace and GigaSpace variants. The lack of engine tunnel means that the cab has a flat floor, creating a really comfortable ambience. The Actros L has improved cab noise and heat insulation seating position has been lowered by 40 millimetres for more relaxed driving and a comfortable view of the road. Other key comfort and convenience features include newly designed optional LED main headlamps, stylish seat covers, new door trim, a comfortable mattress with 45-mm thick topper and a pleasantly tactile cab rear panel in the bed area. The sense of well-being can be further boosted with the numerous Interior Line accessories from Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
With the Actros L too, Mercedes-Benz Trucks is systematically pursuing its goal of helping to make road traffic as safe as possible by utilising active safety assistance systems, and in doing so is taking another step closer to realising its vision of accident-free driving. This is evidenced not just by Lane Keeping Assist, Proximity Control Assist and MirrorCam, which replaces the main and wide-angle mirrors, but by a host of other safety features.
Optionally available for the Actros L, for example, is the Mercedes-Benz Sideguard Assist S1X which, compared with the previous system S1R, is equipped with a further function that could potentially save lives. This new system, called Active Sideguard Assist, no longer simply warns the driver of moving pedestrians or cyclists on the co-driver’s side. If the driver then fails to respond to the warnings in time, it is now able to initiate an automated braking manoeuvre at turning speeds of up to 20 km/h to bring the vehicle to a standstill. Active Sideguard Assist can recognise the need for such a braking manoeuvre and, in an ideal scenario, prevent a potential collision.
Active Drive Assist
Another equipment option for the Actros L is the second generation Active Drive Assist (ADA 2). Under certain preconditions the system actively assists the driver with longitudinal and lateral guidance of the truck and can automatically maintain the distance to the vehicle ahead, accelerate and also steer if the necessary system conditions such as sufficient curve radius or clearly visible road markings are met. In addition, ADA 2 includes the Emergency Stop Assist sub-function which is able to initiate an emergency stop if the driver is no longer controlling the steering wheel, despite visual and audible warnings. If the truck comes to a standstill, the system can automatically engage the new electronic parking brake. In addition, the doors are unlocked so that paramedics and other first responders can directly reach the driver in case of a medical emergency.
Active Brake Assist 5
If an emergency braking assistant is required by law, the Actros L is also equipped Active Brake Assist 5 (ABA 5) as standard which features a pedestrian recognition function. This system can help to avoid accidents where, due to the driver being distracted, the following distance being too short, or an inappropriate speed, the truck is at risk of colliding with a vehicle ahead or a stationary vehicle, or there is a risk of a frontal collision with a pedestrian. ABA 5 works using a combined radar and camera system. If the system detects the risk of an accident with a vehicle driving in front, a stationary obstacle or a person (crossing the vehicle’s path, coming towards the vehicle, walking in the same lane as the vehicle or suddenly coming to a stop in fright), the system initially emits a visual and audible warning to the driver. If the driver fails to respond appropriately, the system can then initiate partial braking in a second stage. If the threat of a collision continues, ABA 5 can perform automated maximum full-stop braking – at vehicle speeds of up to 50 km/h when responding to moving persons.
With all assistance systems, Mercedes-Benz Trucks aims to support the driver as much as possible within the system limits. However, as the law prescribes, the driver remains fully responsible for driving the vehicle safely at all times.
Predictive Powertrain Control
In conjunction with these assistance systems, the intelligent cruise and transmission control system Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) is also impressive. The system can take into account the topography, the course of a road and traffic signs in certain situations. This means that unnecessary braking, accelerating and gear shifting can be avoided. With the help of PPC, the latest Actros generation consumes up to three percent less diesel on expressways and motorways than vehicles not equipped with the system, while on rural roads it can even be as much as five percent less. On the subject of fuel efficiency, the new Eco-Support display in the Multimedia Cockpit Interactive helps the driver to adopt a driving style that’s as economical as possible.
The driver is shown the activities and functions of assistance systems such as ABA 5, ADA 2 or PPC in the standard user-friendly Multimedia Cockpit, with its two colour displays forming the centrepiece of the Human-Machine Interface (HMI). In the Actros L, this also includes as an optional feature displays for the total weight of the towing vehicle and trailer and for the front axle load, even for semitrailer trucks with only partial air suspension. This helps the driver to keep an eye on the weight and prevent overloading.