The new Actros heavy-duty truck launched in South Africa comes with a host of “next-level innovations”, says Daimler Trucks & Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) CEO Michael Dietz.
These include the absence of outside mirrors in favour of in-cab screens (mounted on the A-pillars), which are linked to outside cameras, and something called predictive power train control (PPC).
These innovations promise savings in fuel of up to 5%, which can be a significant amount of money for any fleet operator.
All these technologies are “immediately available” to the local market, says Mercedes-Benz Trucks South Africa head Maretha Gerber.
“Approximately two years ago, we launched the fourth-generation Actros . . . and today we are extremely honoured to fulfil our promise to expediently introduce the latest technology on the range without further delay.”
PPC promises the biggest advance in fuel saving.
In addition to a satellite-based positioning system, the system uses precise three-dimensional digital road maps that contain exact data on topography, which means the truck ‘knows’ the road and the route profile ahead.
In practice, this translates into the vehicle moving in an anticipatory manner, using, for example, predictive gear shifting, as it can ‘see’ the hill or descent ahead.
This allows the new Actros to save as much fuel as possible, while ensuring optimal driver support.
All the major routes in South Africa have already been mapped in the PPC portfolio and uploaded in advance of the introduction of the technology, says Gerber.
The new Actros also includes MirrorCam technology.
For the first time in a mass-produced truck, the MirrorCam replaces the conventional main and wide-angle mirror with an in-cab camera system, improving safety and manoeuvrability, says Gerber.
This system gives the driver a full view of the trailer when turning, and also enables precise reversing, as the driver can see the end of the trailer.
It also allows the driver to see what is going on around the truck at night without the need to get out of the vehicle, should the driver be at a truck stop, says Gerber.
The MirrorCam is compatible with 27 m interlinks, she adds.
The system can improve fuel efficiency by up to 1.3% through improved aerodynamics.
The new Actros also features a multimedia cockpit.
Another feature is the newest version of active brake assist (ABA).
ABA 5 affords greater safety for pedestrians.
The system is now capable of carrying out emergency braking when encountering pedestrians crossing its path – approaching from the front or walking across.
If ABA 5 detects a risk of collision with a vehicle travelling ahead, a stationary obstacle or a moving pedestrian, the driver is alerted to the danger by a three-stage escalating warning system.
Benefiting directly from the innovations available in the new Actros is the new Arocs range, adds Gerber.
Initially introduced in 2019, the Arocs range is active in the distribution and construction sectors.
Six new models have now been added to the existing range, comprising three freight carriers (the Arocs 3336/48, the Arocs 3340/48 and the Arocs 3352/45), an 8 × 4 tipper (the Arocs 4145K/51) and two all-wheel-drive off-road vehicles (the Arocs 1845AE/45 and the Arocs 3345AE/45).
DTBSA assembles the Actros and Arocs ranges at its East London plant.
The Actros 5 won the global 2020 Truck of the Year award.