Mercedes-Benz Actros the world safest truck is now even safer

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The Mercedes-Benz Actros Special Edition is taking pride of place on the Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle stand at this year’s JIMS.  The Actros Special Edition is decked out with a number of standard features to make any transport operator’s dream come true, including aerodynamics kit for improved fuel consumption.

Mercedes-Benz Actros

The Actros is undoubtedly the world’s safest truck, and with the Special Edition, it is now even safer: Mercedes-Benz is introducing second-generation Active Brake Assist for this heavy-duty Actros truck as standard.

This unique and multi-award-winning safety system now has even greater capability: whereas the first-generation system applied the brakes automatically if it detected a risk of a head-to-tail collision with a slow-moving obstacle in front of the vehicle, Active Brake Assist 2 is also activated if a stationary obstacle is detected. Active Brake Assist has already proven its worth in more than 14 000 trucks and over a total of more than three billion kilometres on Europe’s roads.

Actros and road safety: unique progress and social responsibility
“Progressive companies are paying more and more attention to the environmental and safety standards of the haulage companies they contract. These aspects are therefore becoming increasingly important for truck operators, as they have a bearing on a company’s image and they have tangible economic benefits,” says Christo Kleynhans, Product Manager, Mercedes-Benz Commerical Vehicles.

Active Brake Assist: tried and tested over a total of more than three billion kilometres
Anti-lock braking system, acceleration skid control, disc brakes all round, electronically controlled braking system, high-pressure braking system, Brake Assist, Lane Assistant, roll control, proximity control – the list of safety technologies and systems that have celebrated their world premiere in Mercedes Benz trucks is a long one. One development highlight is the revolutionary Active Brake Assist system, which was introduced for the Mercedes-Benz Actros heavy-duty truck in 2006 and has since proven itself time and time again out on the road.

Many truck drivers have reported situations in which the safety system has prevented accidents. The experts are agreed: Active Brake Assist has saved lives – not only those of Actros drivers and occupants but also those of the people in the vehicles in front.

“The new Active Brake Assist 2 system sets yet another milestone. Daimler Trucks has therefore taken a further step towards realising its vision of accident-free driving, as part of its “Shaping Future Transportation” global initiative,” adds Kleynhans.

Radar-controlled system detects stationary obstacles
The radar used by the Active Brake Assist 2 system scans an area of 1-200 m in the lane ahead of the truck whilst continuously determining the distance to a vehicle in front or a stationary obstacle as well as the difference in speed between the two vehicles. If, based on the current driving style, an accident is unavoidable, the driver initially receives visual warnings in the form of a red triangle which lights up and an audible alarm. If the situation gets any worse, the system responds by applying the brakes.

The warning concept is designed to allow drivers to diffuse critical situations themselves; that’s because braking initiated by Active Brake Assist 2 with 50% of the maximum braking power gives drivers the time that is needed to avoid an accident themselves.

Decisive advantage: effective from 0-89 km/h and robust under all weather and light conditions

Active Brake Assist 2 offers decisive advantages over other systems currently under development. The tried-and-tested radar technology operates robustly under all weather and light conditions, for instance. What’s more, Active Brake Assist is effective across a truck’s entire speed range – from 0 km/h or slow driving at brisk walking pace to motorway speeds of up to 89 km/h (when the speed limiter is activated).

Telligent stability control reduces the risk of skidding in truck-tractor and trailer
Telligent stability control is an active safety system that reduces the risk of skidding when a truck-tractor and trailer is cornering or performing an evasive manoeuvre. In dynamically critical situations, the system controls the braking power specifi¬cally at each individual wheel, for example if the vehicle tends to oversteer or understeer when cornering. In addition, the engine is throttled back.

Possible jack-knifing of the semitrailer rig is prevented by simultaneous, measured braking of the truck-tractor and trailer, even if it is only equipped with a conventional, pneumatic braking system.

Telligent stability control also detects a truck-tractor and trailer’s roll-over tendency at an early stage. If the truck-tractor and trailer reaches the tipping threshold without the driver noticing – on a long bend of the type seen at some motorway junctions or when changing lanes at speed, for example – the speed of the truck-tractor and trailer is reduced auto¬matically until full directional stability is restored.

This reduces the risk of the truck-tractor and trailer overturning significantly, within the bounds of physical possibility of course. Telligent stability control is the truck equivalent of ESP, as seen on passenger cars, albeit with functions that have been adapted and extended specifically for trucks.

Telligent Lane Assistant warns of impending lane departure
The Telligent Lane Assistant warns the driver by issuing an audible signal if the vehicle looks like leaving its marked lane. It is able to do this thanks to a digital camera that monitors the road in front of the truck and, if the lane is marked, detects dangerous lane departures. Hence the Telligent Lane Assistant is of parti¬cular benefit to long-distance drivers on motorways. It can help to reduce the risk of accidents or, at the very least, mitigate the consequences of an accident.

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