Automotive

Mercedes-Benz Trucks unveils semi-automated Actros

Mercedes-Benz Trucks unveils s...
The Mercedes-Benz Actros brings automated trucking a step closer
The Mercedes-Benz Actros brings automated trucking a step closer
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The Actros is very popular in European markets and this new version of the truck adds efficiency, technology, and new semi-automated driving and driver-assist systems to improve safety as well
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The Actros is very popular in European markets and this new version of the truck adds efficiency, technology, and new semi-automated driving and driver-assist systems to improve safety as well
The new Actros includes several innovations including Daimler’s latest Active Drive Assist, Active Brake Assist 5, and is the first series-produced truck with rearview cameras replacing side mirrors for aerodynamic improvement
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The new Actros includes several innovations including Daimler’s latest Active Drive Assist, Active Brake Assist 5, and is the first series-produced truck with rearview cameras replacing side mirrors for aerodynamic improvement
The Actros' new design includes fuel economy improvements of up to five percent, thanks to changes in aerodynamics and drivetrain tech
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The Actros' new design includes fuel economy improvements of up to five percent, thanks to changes in aerodynamics and drivetrain tech
The new Mercedes-Benz Actros now has full forward collision detection capability and the ability to help mitigate crashes through automated braking
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The new Mercedes-Benz Actros now has full forward collision detection capability and the ability to help mitigate crashes through automated braking
Fuel savings in the new Actros depend on operation, but up to three percent fuel consumption improvement on highways and up to five percent on country roads are possible
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Fuel savings in the new Actros depend on operation, but up to three percent fuel consumption improvement on highways and up to five percent on country roads are possible
The automatic transmission in the new Actros includes Predictive Powertrain Control for cruise-control optimization and gear selection
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The automatic transmission in the new Actros includes Predictive Powertrain Control for cruise-control optimization and gear selection
Topographic mapping helps the powertrain optimize gearing for upcoming terrain to improve fuel economy and performance in the Actros
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Topographic mapping helps the powertrain optimize gearing for upcoming terrain to improve fuel economy and performance in the Actros
Through radar and camera information, the Active Drive Assist system watches traffic ahead, to the sides, and behind the Actros truck
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Through radar and camera information, the Active Drive Assist system watches traffic ahead, to the sides, and behind the Actros truck
The new Actros is being produced in Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ truck assembly plants in Worth on the Rhine River
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The new Actros is being produced in Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ truck assembly plants in Worth on the Rhine River
The Actros is one of the most popular heavy-duty trucks in Europe
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The Actros is one of the most popular heavy-duty trucks in Europe
Daimler is taking advantage of the popularity of its flagship truck and using the Actros to further enhance the company's standing in automation
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Daimler is taking advantage of the popularity of its flagship truck and using the Actros to further enhance the company's standing in automation
This new Actros is a step closer to fully automated trucks, which Daimler says are coming in the near future
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This new Actros is a step closer to fully automated trucks, which Daimler says are coming in the near future
Workplace safety is important and the Actros is now outfitted with both forward and rear-end collision detection systems for pedestrians and objects to prevent accidents
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Workplace safety is important and the Actros is now outfitted with both forward and rear-end collision detection systems for pedestrians and objects to prevent accidents
Replacing the big mirrors usually found on a truck are these smaller units that house a camera instead
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Replacing the big mirrors usually found on a truck are these smaller units that house a camera instead
The Actros now includes pedestrian detection and collision prevention
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The Actros now includes pedestrian detection and collision prevention
The driver's information screen in the instrument cluster of the Mercedes-Benz Actros truck shows safety and trip information as well as driver assist output
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The driver's information screen in the instrument cluster of the Mercedes-Benz Actros truck shows safety and trip information as well as driver assist output
Daimler sees the driver's cockpit in the Actros as a work center where more than just driving takes place
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Daimler sees the driver's cockpit in the Actros as a work center where more than just driving takes place
The driver's cockpit is geared towards keeping the driver aware of the roadway while the assistance systems in the Actros help the driver stay focused on the longer view
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The driver's cockpit is geared towards keeping the driver aware of the roadway while the assistance systems in the Actros help the driver stay focused on the longer view
Active Drive Assist in the new Actros can brake, accelerate, and steer independently and will work at all speed ranges
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Active Drive Assist in the new Actros can brake, accelerate, and steer independently and will work at all speed ranges
The Actros now features a more advanced human machine interface with an option for more connectivity and infotainment
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The Actros now features a more advanced human machine interface with an option for more connectivity and infotainment
Most of the driver's on-road connectivity and systems management are handled through steering wheel controls so hands stay on the wheel
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Most of the driver's on-road connectivity and systems management are handled through steering wheel controls so hands stay on the wheel
Those side-mounted cameras on the Actros project to A-pillar-mounted 15-inch screens inside the cabin
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Those side-mounted cameras on the Actros project to A-pillar-mounted 15-inch screens inside the cabin
The side mirror displays in the Actros adapt to situations in order to show the driver the most relevant views, including wider angles when turning or reversing
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The side mirror displays in the Actros adapt to situations in order to show the driver the most relevant views, including wider angles when turning or reversing
The new Active Drive Assist system from Daimler allows partially automated driving
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The new Active Drive Assist system from Daimler allows partially automated driving
The Mercedes-Benz Actros brings automated trucking a step closer
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The Mercedes-Benz Actros brings automated trucking a step closer
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One of the more active players in the self-driving trucks game is Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz and other heavy truck brands globally. The company has made no secret of its plans to have automated trucking become the norm and took its first major step towards that goal with the new Actros.

Unveiled in Germany, the new Mercedes-Benz Actros builds on its long-running success in the heavy-duty truck industry. The Actros is very popular in European markets and this latest version of the truck adds several innovations including Daimler's latest Active Drive Assist, Active Brake Assist 5, and is the first series-produced truck with rearview cameras replacing side mirrors for aerodynamic improvement.

"Just four years after the presentation of the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 driving in automated mode, we are launching the new Actros with the world's first partially automated assistance system in a series-produced truck, thus further extending our leading role for automated driving," said Mercedes-Benz Trucks head Stefan Buchner.

Active Drive Assist

The new Active Drive Assist (ADA) system from Daimler allows for partially automated driving. The system can brake, accelerate, and steer independently and will work at all speed ranges. With the ADA system, the Actros truck can operate in stop-and-go traffic, make lane changes safely with minimal driver input, and maintain a set following distance behind another vehicle.

Fuel savings in the new Actros depend on operation, but up to three percent fuel consumption improvement on highways and up to five percent on country roads are possible
Fuel savings in the new Actros depend on operation, but up to three percent fuel consumption improvement on highways and up to five percent on country roads are possible

Daimler says that Active Drive Assist is meant to augment the driver's own expertise behind the wheel by taking some of the workload off. The driver is expected to continue to monitor traffic, but with ADA, the work of minute-by-minute maneuvering is reduced significantly so that the driver can concentrate on the longer-distance picture. Driving a big truck is about looking far ahead to anticipate and react well before the situation becomes a safety hazard. The ADA system, Daimler says, allows the driver to do that more easily.

Through radar and camera information, the Active Drive Assist system watches traffic ahead, to the sides, and behind the Actros truck. Lane-keeping assist keeps the truck within its lane while the adaptive cruise control maintains a set following distance. Much like the system found in recent Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles, ADA can also make lane changes at the press of the turn signal indicator, steering without the driver's input to move to the indicated lane when systems show the all-clear to do so.

Active Brake Assist 5

Augmenting Active Drive Assist is a new generation of the Active Brake Assist system Daimler has developed. Active Brake Assist 5 builds on the successive generations of the braking system that was introduced in 2006. For this new generation, Daimler has added some significant safety improvements.

The Actros now includes pedestrian detection and collision prevention
The Actros now includes pedestrian detection and collision prevention

Chief among those upgrades is a rear-end collision capability, a pedestrian detection system, and an improved combination of radar and camera integration. Active Brake Assist 5 can detect pedestrians in front of the Actros truck when traveling at low speeds and can sense a pending rear-end collision when backing up.

Sensing these potential collisions, the Actros will activate braking to slow or stop and prevent the accident, much like many passenger cars today can now detect collisions and activate warnings and braking to prevent them.

Mirror cameras

The sideview cameras above either door of the new Actros truck replace the large mirrors normally found on a big truck. The cameras reduce aerodynamic drag significantly and offer a clearer field of vision in all weather and lighting situations.

Those side-mounted cameras on the Actros project to A-pillar-mounted 15-inch screens inside the cabin
Those side-mounted cameras on the Actros project to A-pillar-mounted 15-inch screens inside the cabin

The mirror cameras are wide-angle and project to 15-inch displays mounted to the A-pillars inside the door, at about the location a driver would look to see a conventional side mirror. The mirrors can be split to offer multiple views, including a fisheye (wide-angle) and standard view as well as a rear view for backing a trailer. Augmenting these cameras are standard mirrors mounted in their usual locations for up-close views and blind spot elimination.

Multimedia cockpit

The Actros now features a more advanced human machine interface with an option for more connectivity and infotainment than has previously been found in a commercial truck. Two interactive screens work as a "digital workplace of the future" in the truck. Drive-relevant information for use on the road is displayed on both the infotainment screen on the dashboard and in the driver's information screen within the instrument cluster.

Part of this is visualization of what the assistance and safety systems are doing. The Active Drive Assist and Active Brake Assist 5 systems show relevant information on the driver's information screen as needed. When parked, these systems can be fine-tuned through the infotainment screen as well.

Daimler sees the driver's cockpit in the Actros as a work center where more than just driving takes place
Daimler sees the driver's cockpit in the Actros as a work center where more than just driving takes place

The Actros can also be connected to the cloud, and Fleetboard and Mercedes' own Uptime can offer predictive maintenance alerts, truck location information, trip and fuel consumption logging, and more.

Other items in the Actros' new infotainment includes entertainment options for radio listening as well as hands-free smartphone operation.

Fuel savings and more

Mercedes-Benz says that the new Actros truck lowers fuel consumption by up to five percent when all of these technologies are in use. The savings depend on operation, but up to three percent fuel consumption improvement on highways and up to five percent on country roads are possible thanks to aerodynamic improvements and powertrain upgrades.

The automatic transmission in this latest Actros includes Predictive Powertrain Control for cruise-control optimization and gear selection that uses map topography to anticipate needs to improve performance.

The Actros is being produced in Mercedes-Benz Trucks' truck assembly plants in Worth on the Rhine River, and becomes available later in 2018.

Source: Daimler

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